BY STEVE ROTHAUS
U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, a House leader on gay issues, has pledged to fight Florida's proposed constitutional ban on gay marriage.
"We have a big challenge ahead of us," Ros-Lehtinen, R-Miami, told members of the gay-oriented Miami Log Cabin Republicans club, which met Sunday night in Miami Shores.
Amendment 2 will be on Florida's ballot in November. If passed, it would amend the state constitution to ban gay marriages and civil unions, as well as publicly recognized domestic partnerships.
"Most [Amendment 2 supporters] would like to frame it as a gay issue," Ros-Lehtinen said. "It's not that at all. Most of the domestic partnerships in Florida are heterosexual."
Ros-Lehtinen, who supports ending the military's Don't Ask, Don't Tell policy, ranks among the most supportive House members on gay issues, according to Human Rights Campaign, the nation's largest gay-rights group.
Annette Taddeo, the Democrat challenging Ros-Lehtinen in this fall's election, also strongly supports gay issues.
Taddeo is an advisory board member of the Say No 2 campaign, a group fighting the marriage amendment.
"We must fight Amendment 2 because all people must be treated equally and we should not change our state's constitution to allow discrimination," Taddeo said Monday in an e-mail to The Miami Herald.