Dr. Blackwell's BLOG

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Amendment 2

Filed under: Politics — Dr. Christopher Blackwell @ 02:19

No On 2Hello friends, family, and loved ones. While I have certainly been very vocal about this election season and doing everything possible to make sure we don’t continue 4 more years of failed policy at the hands of the Republicans, I have remained relatively silent on a major issue facing Florida voters November 4th. Amendment 2, falsely worded as the “Marriage Protection Amendment” would enshrine discrimination into our state Constitution and outlaw recognition of any legal partnership outside of that of one man and one woman. Beyond the hatred, ignorance, and homophobia that fueled the creation of this proposed amendment, it is essential to look beyond this amendment’s surface wording to realize just what consequences this amendment would foster. First, it would damage the legal recognition of heterosexual relationships that aren’t defined by marriage laws. Second, this type of amendment damages the State’s ability to respond effectively to cases of domestic violence among non-married individuals. For example, prosecutors may no longer be able to prosecute cases of domestic violence among unmarried couples (both gay and straight)  to the fullest extent of the law because they no longer “fit” the State’s definition of marriage.

Perhaps most importantly, thousands of people could lose their health insurance and other employer-relayed benefits because state law would no longer allow Florida companies to offer same-sex partner benefits as the amendment specifically is worded to outlaw such benefits to those not meeting this new definition of marriage. I always laugh at the arguments conservatives make because 99.9% of the time, they are non-sensical and oftentimes, stem from more progressive policies being supported due to the drastic consequences such conservative regulations create. In this case, if Amendment 2 is passed, thousands of gay employees of such companies as Walt Disney World and Universal Studios will be without health insurance, resulting in more people having to rely on government-funded insurance programs like Medicaid for coverage, creating a further financial burden to taxpayers of the State and a continued strain on our healthcare system. Please, take a moment and research the drastic results these types of amendments have caused in states like Michigan, where the state’s university system has had to drop health insurance coverage to certain individuals and have made domestic violence statutes near ineffectual for some groups. Regardless of how you feel about gay people, VOTE NO on Amendment 2; it’s mean–spirited and will create far more damage to our State than any remote possibility the amendment might have some type of benefit. VOTE NO on Amendment 2! 

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