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Naugle, other Democratics back gay-marriage ban in Florida

BY JENNIFER MOONEY PIEDRA, jmooney@MiamiHerald.com

A ballot measure to ban gay marriage has already won the support of many religious leaders and Republican politicians.

On Tuesday, it received another endorsement -- this time from a group of Democrats.

In a press conference headlined by Fort Lauderdale Mayor Jim Naugle, the community leaders -- including pastors and civic activists -- said marriage should be defined as the union between a man and a woman.

Amendment 2, if passed by voters on Election Day, would do just that by changing the Florida Constitution to say, ``No other legal union that is treated as marriage or the substantial equivalent thereof shall be valid or recognized.''

Gay marriage is already illegal in Florida, but the proposal -- if approved by 60 percent of voters -- would make it difficult for a judge to overturn.

''It is not a conservative or liberal issue,'' said Brenda Lewis-Williams, chairwoman of a Bay County grassroots organization pushing the amendment's passage. ``It is not a Democrat or Republican issue. It's a moral issue.''

But opponents see it differently. They argue the measure could revoke the domestic partnership rights of millions of Floridians, gay and straight. Another concern is that widowed seniors who choose to be in a domestic partnership, rather than remarry, could also lose their benefits.

The measure has already garnered support from several Republican politicians, including Gov. Charlie Crist, U.S. Sen. Mel Martinez and Attorney General Bill McCollum.

Outside the Stephen P. Clark Government Center in downtown Miami, where the group of Democrats rallied, some held signs that read, ''Yes 2 Marriage,'' while others clutched Bibles.

Nathaniel Wilcox, executive director of People United to Lead the Struggle for Equality, known as PULSE, was among the supporters, saying the institution of marriage must be saved.

''We must not sell our moral values to placate others,'' he said.

The group insists its push isn't about targeting homosexuals, though they said they oppose gay marriage.

Naugle, a lifelong Democrat known to back Republicans, has a history of riling the gay community in Fort Lauderdale.

In recent years, he has made blunt, and often critical statements about his support of a $250,000 single-occupancy toilet on the beach that he said would reduce gay sex in public restrooms. He later opposed moving the Stonewall Library, a collection of gay-themed materials, into a city building.

Still, he contends his support for Amendment 2 has nothing to do with homosexuals. ''It's about defending the institution of marriage, which should be defined as between one man and one woman,'' he said.


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Were there any real democrats there or just Naugle. Naugle backed JEB! everytime and has more recently endorsed Crist. He also endorsed Clay Shaw everytime he could. Point being, whether you agree with him or not, Naugle is a D in registration only and keeps it that way purely for political survival. So, if you're suggesting that democrats are behind this amendment because Naugle appeared at a rally, you've missed the mark badly.

Amendment 2 has considerable Democratic support. Polls show that 45 percent of registered Democrats favor Amendment 2.

Of course gay marriage should be banned.
Throughout the entire history of mankind, a marriage have always been between a man and a woman.
Even in ancient Rome and Greece, where homosexuality wasn't controverisal at all (quite the opposite) no onw would ever think of the idea that man and man could get married.

That's just down-right wrong.

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