Sunday, October 26, 2008

Florida Amendment Very Close. Wonder Why?

Only a couple of weeks ago it seemed that Amendment 2, banning marriage for gays in the Florida Constitution, would not pass. But the polls have shifted a bit. It needs 60% for passage, and the latest poll has it at 56%, with 7% undecided. That, say some analysts, doesn't look good for us:

History suggests it will pass because undecided voters have tended to break in favor of gay-marriage bans in other states, said Brad Coker, polling director for Mason-Dixon Polling & Research. The firm surveyed 625 registered voters Monday and Tuesday; the poll has a margin of error of 4 percentage points.

"Most people have an opinion on it," he said. "This issue's been on the forefront for years, and people know what they're voting for or voting against."

It's not a surprise to me after getting an email from a listener to the show who went to vote in Florida, where early voting has been brisk. He told me he was outraged at the voter guide given out by the League of Women Voters, which is supposed to be non-partisan. Check out how it describes Amendment 2:

Summary: This amendment protects marriage as the legal union of only one man and one woman as husband and wife and provides that no other legal union that is treated as marriage or the substantial equivalent thereof shall be valid or recognized.

It tells us that it "protects" marriage, and does not say anything about banning gays.

Then it gives the pros and cons of the amendment. Get a load of this:

The amendment would protect children by ensuring that only one form of marriage, between a man and a woman, would ever be celebrated in Florida....

A statute already provides for a single form of marriage in Florida.
Health care and pension benefit plans which cover unmarried couples living together and which are now legally valid may be adversely affected.

So a vote for the amendment is about protecting children, and there's nothing in the "con" about how it would discriminate against gays and lesbians. Is it any wonder many people will vote for it when "non-partisan" groups describe it this way?