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Florida gay-marriage ban draws wide support in poll

BY MARC CAPUTO AND JENNIFER MOONEY PIEDRA, mcaputo@MiamiHerald.com

TALLAHASSEE -- Florida voters look close to passing a gay-marriage ban and rejecting a community college tax, and are largely undecided about a handful of property-tax issues, according to a new statewide poll on the state's proposed constitutional amendments.

Regardless of the topic, there's a common theme in voters' preferences: Simplicity, said Brad Coker, pollster for Mason-Dixon Polling & Research. Voters have clear opinions about those amendments that are relatively easy to understand or that have simple titles or buzzwords.

So the ''Florida Marriage Protection Amendment'' garners wide support -- 55 percent for it; 34 percent opposed. And the amendment that would allow local communities to raise the sales tax to help pay for community college is losing by a 37 to 40 percent margin.

'In Florida, `tax' is no longer a three-letter word,'' said Coker. ``It's a four-letter word.''

Yet the poll shows that the electorate doesn't seem to have a strong preference for the amendments that would actually give homeowners or businesses a potential property-tax cut. And that's because of the complexity of the amendments, Coker said.

Consider:

• The amendment to prohibit tax assessment increases for someone who adds hurricane shutters or solar panels is leading by a 29-to-26 percent margin. Undecided: 45 percent.

• The amendment to give a tax break to those who agree to set aside conservation lands is leading 37 to 19 percent. Undecided: 44 percent.

• The amendment to help shield marina owners from big tax-assessment increases leads 33 to 20 percent. Undecided: 47 percent.

However, because it takes a 60 percent vote to approve a constitutional amendment, the property-tax plans could pass if the undecided voters don't cast a ballot on those issues and if support continues to grow and outpaces opposition by a ratio of 3 to 2.

Coker, though, said he expected undecided voters will likely cast a ballot in favor of the gay-marriage amendment, thereby supplying it with the additional 5 percentage points it needs to pass.

''The undecideds always seem to break more strongly toward sort of the more anti-gay side of the issue,'' Coker said.

But not if Florida Red & Blue can help it. The bipartisan group plans to run an ad painting the amendment as ''vague'' and a threat to domestic-partner benefits, even for heterosexual seniors. Supporters of Amendment 2 say that's a scare tactic.

Some members of the legal community also are joining forces against Amendment 2. More than 150 lawyers from across the state signed a letter against the statewide ballot measure that would ban gay marriage by specifying that marriage is a union between a man and a woman. The letter was released Wednesday by Florida Red & Blue.

The attorneys are encouraging voters on Nov. 4 to say ''no'' to the proposal, which opponents say will have consequences for all unmarried couples in Florida, gay and straight.

The critics say say the measure could lead to the potential loss of existing legal protection and benefits, including alimony, estate planning and domestic partnership registries.

Among the lawyers who signed the letter: former Florida House speakers Peter Wallace and Richard Pettigrew, and Talbot ''Sandy'' D'Alemberte, former president of the American Bar Association and former president of Florida State University.

Supporters of Amendment 2 say the opposition is running a campaign based on ''deception,'' trying to convince people that domestic partnerships will be invalidated if the measure passes.

''If they tried to discuss the merits of whether gay marriage is in the best interest of children and family and the common good, they'll lose. And they know that,'' said John Stemberger, president and general counsel of the Florida Family Policy Council, which is promoting the Yes On 2 campaign. ``They're having to refocus the debate on some other scare tactic, like telling people they are going to lose their benefits.''

Stemberger said he is encouraged by the recent poll, but that his group must continue to campaign against well-funded opponents.

Gov. Charlie Crist said he supports defining marriage ``between one man and one woman.''

Yet Crist said he's staying out of all the amendment fights because ``I've got my hands pretty full as it is.''

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I am glad to see that Florida is the last man standing between us becoming pure Sodom and Gommorah and making sure that moral ethics and principles remain intact if not the rest of the US we will honor our forefathers' legacy when they established this country on biblical doctrines........

Hence the reason, we call it "gay marriage"

MAR·RIAGE /ˈmærɪdʒ/ Pronunciation Key - Show Spelled Pronunciation[mar-ij] Pronunciation Key - Show IPA Pronunciation
–noun
1. the social institution under which a man and woman establish their decision to live as husband and wife by legal commitments, religious ceremonies, etc.
2. the state, condition, or relationship of being married; wedlock: a happy marriage.
3. the legal or religious ceremony that formalizes the decision of a man and woman to live as husband and wife, including the accompanying social festivities: to officiate at a marriage.
4. a relationship in which two people have pledged themselves to each other in the manner of a husband and wife, without legal sanction: trial marriage; homosexual marriage.

Marriage is a legal status and not a biblically-based mandate; clergy are able to witness a marriage on behalf of the state but a 'church wedding' is one in which there is a component of God's blessing of the union in addition to the legal witnessing by the clergy wearing a civil hat.

Let's get our facts in order before we start crazy talk about what God wanted or did not want. Take a look at some of the biblical stories and you'll see what I am talking about.

I cannot believe people supporting "gay marriage". We want GOD's punishment, just like California is burning in fire, floods, misery for its inmorality. If we approve "Gay Marriage", just wait for GOD's punishment on FLORIDA. DONOT APPROVE/VOTE thisinmoral law, keep our MORAL and VALUES according to the WORD of GOD in the BIBLE. A marriage must be between a MAN and a WOMAN--This is the core of the FAMILY and foundation of our country--DO not keep destroying our contry-May GOD have mercy on us!

My comment is regarding the comment left by Mari Martin on 10/14/08. You are obviously what I like to call a "Bible Beater". Amendment 2 is not only about gays and marriage, it will also affect the elderly and their social security benefits. Why do people like you use GOD for everything? You actually believe that fires, floods and all natural phenomia are caused by whether gay people get married? That is plain and simple "IGNORANCE" at it's best! I hope that if you have children of your own, that one day he or she doesn't come to you and tell you that they're GAY! Because, you'll probably blame your child for everything that's gone wrong in your life, and the lives of everyone in the world!! Because of people like you, we continue breeding IGNORANT and HATEFUL young people in this world.

What is so hateful about wanting to protect the institution of marriage from perversion? It's crazy how all gays will call those who don't support their lifestyle 'intolerant'.

Those who are intolerant, are actually tolerant of the production of life. You can't be mad at us for that. And don't be mad because we choose to express our belief that in order for there to be life, there must be a man and a woman. Never saw any way for two males or two females to produce a child on their own.

VOTE NO on GAY MARRIAGES; VOTE YES on AMENDMENT 2

"Let's get our facts in order before we start crazy talk about what God wanted or did not want. Take a look at some of the biblical stories and you'll see what I am talking about."

RACHEL


What are you talking about Rachel!!!

32Although they know God's righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them.

76.5% (+5% from 1990-2000)Christianity
13.2% (+110% from 1990-2000)Secular/Non-Religious
1.3% (-10% from 1990-2000)Judaism

Top 20 Religions of Americans [(1990-2001 poll by National Survey of Religious Identity and the American Religious Identity Survey)]
...these are the top three...I'm not saying you have to agree with me on my standpoint because I CERTAINLY DONT AGREE WITH YOU ON YOURS...but I still believe we are one nation under God and the same influence God had in molding our laws, ethics, and principles in our society are the same influences that convict ppl like me when we would be foolish enough to stray from the narrow path...the unfavorable path!

I am Lot in Sodom & Gomorrah - Noah in the Ark!

LEST WE FORGET!

that verse by the way is in the book of ROMANS chapter 1

Why do people like you use GOD for everything? You actually believe that fires, floods and all natural phenomia are caused by whether gay people get married? That is plain and simple "IGNORANCE" at it's best!

MIKE & JESUS

GeNeSiS 19 V 4-9

4 Before they had gone to bed, all the men from every part of the city of Sodom—both young and old—surrounded the house. 5 They called to Lot, "Where are the men who came to you tonight? Bring them out to us so that we can have sex with them."
6 Lot went outside to meet them and shut the door behind him 7 and said, "No, my friends. Don't do this wicked thing. 8 Look, I have two daughters who have never slept with a man. Let me bring them out to you, and you can do what you like with them. But don't do anything to these men, for they have come under the protection of my roof."
9 "Get out of our way," they replied. And they said, "This fellow came here as an alien, and now he wants to play the judge! We'll treat you worse than them." They kept bringing pressure on Lot and moved forward to break down the door.

SOUNDS LIKE HOMOSEXUALS IN AMERICA TODAY...THAT MUST BE WHERE THE COMING OUT THING COMES FROM...BUT IN SUCH A WICKED CITY IT SEEMS THEY WERE COMING IN!!!

THERE IS NO VIABLE OR WISE ARGUMENT YOU CAN MAKE BUT TO SAY THAT YOU'RE AN ATHEIST!

OR ACCEPT THE FACTS AND LIKE MYSELF AND OTHERS REPENT & BELIEVE IN CHRIST FOR CHANGE IN OUR COUNTRY THAT HAS GONE WAYWARD AND IS HEADED FOR DESTRUCTION!!!

Why do people like you use GOD for everything? You actually believe that fires, floods and all natural phenomia are caused by whether gay people get married? That is plain and simple "IGNORANCE" at it's best!

MIKE & JESUS


GeNeSiS 18 v 20-26
20 Then the LORD said, "The outcry against Sodom and Gomorrah is so great and their sin so grievous 21 that I will go down and see if what they have done is as bad as the outcry that has reached me. If not, I will know."

22 The men turned away and went toward Sodom, but Abraham remained standing before the LORD. [e] 23 Then Abraham approached him and said: "Will you sweep away the righteous with the wicked? 24 What if there are fifty righteous people in the city? Will you really sweep it away and not spare [f] the place for the sake of the fifty righteous people in it? 25 Far be it from you to do such a thing—to kill the righteous with the wicked, treating the righteous and the wicked alike. Far be it from you! Will not the Judge [g] of all the earth do right?"
26 THE LORD SAID, "IF I FIND FIFTY RIGHTE0US PEOPLE IN THE CITY OF SODOM, I WILL SPARE THE WHOLE PLACE FOR THEIR SAKE."

>>

GeNeSiS 19 V 15-17
15 With the coming of dawn, the angels urged Lot, saying, "Hurry! Take your wife and your two daughters who are here, or you will be swept away when the city is punished."
16 When he hesitated, the men grasped his hand and the hands of his wife and of his two daughters and led them safely out of the city, for the LORD was merciful to them. 17 As soon as they had brought them out, one of them said, "Flee for your lives! Don't look back, and don't stop anywhere in the plain! Flee to the mountains or you will be swept away!"

VERSES 20-22
20 Look, here is a town near enough to run to, and it is small. Let me flee to it—it is very small, isn't it? Then my life will be spared."
21 He said to him, "Very well, I will grant this request too; I will not overthrow the town you speak of. 22 But flee there quickly...

VERSES 27-28
27 Early the next morning Abraham got up and returned to the place where he had stood before the LORD. 28 He looked down toward Sodom and Gomorrah, toward all the land of the plain, and he saw dense smoke rising from the land, like smoke from a furnace.

AMEN!

IF HOMOSEXUALS ARE SEEKING RIGHTS, I BELIEVE IN FIGHTING FOR THE RIGHTS OF PEDOPHILES (WHO SCIENTISTS HAVE STUDIED AS WELL AND FOUND BRAIN CHEMICAL IMBALANCES)

WHY WOULD YOU LOCK THEM UP LIKE CAGED BEASTS JUST BECAUSE YOU DON'T AGREE WITH THEIR SEXUAL PREFERENCE OVER WHICH THEY HAVE LITTLE TO NO CONTROL???

STILL WAITING ON A RESPONSE
AND DONT SAY BECAUSE THEIR YOUNG CHILDREN BECAUSE MANY OF THOSE CHILDREN THINK IT'S OK TILL THEY ARE TOLD OTHERWISE!!!

NEEEEEXXXT!

I've been married for 26 years. I think marriage strengthens and stabilizes our society, and, therefore, gay marriage is a good thing.

I very strongly support the right for all adults to get married to the person they love.

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