Florida’s Marriage Discrimination Amendment

Passed in 2008

 

What it Says

“Inasmuch as a marriage is the legal union of only one man and one woman as husband and wife, no other legal union that is treated as marriage or the substantial equivalent thereof shall be valid or recognized.”

Who gets hurt first?

Almost seven million Florida adults are unmarried, including over 860,000 who are living together with their unmarried partners.

  • Domestic partners registered in Tampa, Miami-Dade and other counties could lose their legal status.
  • University employees could lose their job benefits.
  • Senior citizens could be forced to marry and lose their pension plans or Social Security from a previous marriage, or remain unmarried and lose benefits provided by their present partner.

Who gets hurt in the long run?

Anyone whose families and caring relationships extend beyond their legally married spouses. The mean-spirited discrimination amendment locks FL into a hierarchy of relationships, unfairly privileging marriage and penalizing the great diversity of families that we live in.

Who sided with us on opposing Amendment 2?

  • Florida Red and Blue is a state-wide organization that worked to defeat Amendment 2. AtMP is pleased to be a member of their advisory board.
  • President Dianne Wheatley-Giliotti of The League of Women Voters states that “no person or group should suffer legal, economic or administrative discrimination. The League of Women Voters of Florida believes that all life partners in Florida should be able to advocate for their loved ones in health care settings and participate in end-of-life decisions. By prohibiting recognition of any legal union that is treated as marriage or its substantial equivalent, the … amendment would prevent this.”
  • Commissioners Charlotte Rodstrom and Cindi Hutchinson of Fort Lauderdale, Bruno Barriero and Carlos Gimenez of Miami-Dade County and John E. Rodstrom, Ken Keechl, Kristin Jacobs and Sue Gunzburger of Broward County, are just a few of the many individuals who opposed Amendment 2.
  • Patricia Ireland, former president of the National Organization for Women argues that, “There are more important things that belong in our Constitution.”

UPDATE 2012

A poll from The Washington Post in October 2012 indicated that 54 percent of voters in Florida support marriage for same-sex couples, while only 33 percent say they are opposed. This marks a shifting perspective in the state – in June 2012, a poll found 42 percent of respondents supporting the freedom to marry, which was already an 8-point shift from September 2011, when 37 percent supported marriage. Florida Democrats overwhelmingly support marriage (61%), and black Floridians are also newly supportive (49%).