Voters may decide
next year whether Florida will become the 28th state to
place a constitutional ban on same-sex marriage. Sponsors of
the proposed ban claim they have gathered the required
611,009 signatures necessary for a referendum vote,
but Florida's Division of Elections website shows the
group is 253 signatures short of its goal, the Associated
Press reported Friday. An election official has yet to
formally verify the signatures.
prohibits same-sex marriage, but John Stemberger, an
Orlando attorney heading the group opposed to marriage
equality, said a constitutional ban would prevent
judges from overturning the law.
"We believe kids
need a mom and a dad, very simply," Stemberger told
the AP. "Moms and dads bring something different to the
table. Dads are not optional."
Opponents of the
measure are worried that the amendment could supersede
some Florida cities' existing domestic-partnership
laws, thereby affecting unmarried heterosexual couples
saying this is the only sanctioned relationship that
you can have," said Stephen Gaskill, spokesman for Florida
Red and Blue, an opposition group. (The