Thursday, July 31, 2008

Congressional Candidates from Miami Share Views on Amendment Concerning Gay Marriage

What is the most controversial issue being discussed by politicians today? Could it be illegal immigration? Sure, you could make a case for that. How about whether or not we should drill for oil in Alaska? That gets quite a few people fired up. There’s always the debate over government health care to start some verbal sparring. However, it is difficult to find another issue that sparks more emotion and protest than the discussion of gay marriage. When citizens show up to vote for president in November, Florida is asking them to choose a side on the gay marriage topic at the same time.

Amendment 2 will be on state ballots this fall. If passed, it would amend the Florida state constitution to ban gay marriages and civil unions. The change to the constitution also would affect publicly recognized domestic partnerships. The amendment, known as the Florida Marriage Protection Amendment, advocates the following:

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.

As expected, advocacy groups are working hard on both sides to sway voters. And politicians are being asked to state their positions as well. The two women vying to represent Miami in the United States Congress, Representative Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, a Republican, and her Democratic challenger, Annette Taddeo, have shared their opinions on the proposed measure. Both oppose the ban, but for different reasons.

Ros-Lehtinen does not support the amendment because it would affect the many heterosexual couples in Florida who are considered to have domestic partnerships. Ms. Taddeo has a different motive, stating that, ''We must fight Amendment 2 because all people must be treated equally and we should not change our state's constitution to allow discrimination.”

At Bertolino LLP, we have attorneys who specialize in the issues of family law, so we certainly will be following the outcome of this vote. If you are dealing with the sensitive legal problems that can develop in all types of families, please contact us to discuss your situation.

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