Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Oct. 1: Vote Yes On Florida Amendment 1, No On Amendment 2

By Sylvia Gurinsky

Florida voters have a chance to take two stands against discrimination - by saying Yes to Amendment 1 and No to Amendment 2.

Amendment 1 was placed on the ballot by the Florida Legislature in order to abolish an "alien land law" that dates to the 1920s, according to Florida Trend. The original law was to ban Asians from owning land, and Florida is still the only state with such a law. There are anti-immigration people who might want to use it in regard to some of today's immigrants, but other laws already cover that issue. The alien land law is yesterday's news, and voters should say Yes to abolishing it.

Amendment 2 is the so-called Florida Marriage Protection Amendment that would sanction a union between one man and one woman as the only kind of legal union in the state. In other words, it's the "anti gay marriage" act. Besides being discriminatory, it could put domestic benefits for gay couples in doubt. One other question: What happens to a foreign visitor who comes here in either a gay or a polygamous marriage?
Florida's courts may be on the verge of declaring the state's ban on adoptions by gay couples unconstitutional, so now is the wrong time to approve a measure that's based on old and disproven fears, just as any discriminatory measure is. Voters should say No to Amendment 2.

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