Home About Chat Users Issues Party Candidates Polling Firms Media News Polls Calendar Key Races United States President Senate House Governors International

New User Account
"A comprehensive, collaborative elections resource." 
Email: Password:

  Gay Union Ban Short 21,989 Signatures
Parent(s) Container 
ContributorThe Sunset Provision 
Last EditedThe Sunset Provision  Jan 15, 2008 12:03am
Logged 0
News DateTuesday, January 15, 2008 06:00:00 AM UTC0:0
DescriptionA gay marriage ban and several other citizen initiatives were short of the signatures needed to get on November's ballot Monday with just two weeks left before the Feb. 1 petition-gathering deadline.

Sponsors of the same-sex marriage prohibition announced a month ago that they had met the 611,009 signature requirement, but updated numbers issued by the state showed the proposed amendment to the Florida Constitution was still 21,989 signatures short.

That's because Miami-Dade County election officials last week discovered they had submitted duplicate signature reports, said Department of State spokesman Sterling Ivey.

"It's a very unfortunate situation, but we're not going to cast any blame," said John Stemberger, an Orlando lawyer who heads a coalition backing the gay marriage ban. "We certainly are going to make every effort possible to correct this."

That means Florida4Marriage .org will restart its petition campaign. It has relied entirely on volunteers rather than hiring paid signature gatherers, Stemberger said.

Issue Could Split State

"We're just praying that they are able to process all the signatures that come in before Feb. 1," Stemberger said.

If the measure gets on the ballot, it is expected to pit gay communities in South Florida and other urban areas against the proposal's Bible Belt supporters.

"Signatures or not, the Human Rights Campaign will continue to mobilize volunteers and give them the tools they need to educate voters on this harmful amendment," said Joe Solmonese, president of the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender civil rights organization based in Washington

Solmonese said the amendment would write discrimination needlessly into the state constitution. A state law already bans same-sex marriage, but supporters say an amendment is needed to prevent courts from overturning the statute.

ArticleRead Full Article

Date Category Headline Article Contributor