measure to make it more difficult for judges to overturn
the state's standing marriage ban has plenty of Republican
supporters, but some prominent Democrats have declared
themselves supporters of the measure. Fort Lauderdale
mayor Jim Naugle is leading the pack of Democrats who
support amending the state constitution to
prohibit gay and lesbian couples from marrying, TheMiami Herald reported Wednesday.
Republicans, or independents -- marriage is a religious
institution, and government should define it to be between a
man and a woman," Naugle told The Advocate,
which he mistook for a legal publication when he
returned the magazine's call for comment on his
opposition to marriage equality.
Naugle held a
press conference Tuesday with a group of Democrats,
including pastors and local activists, who agree with social
conservatives leading the charge for Amendment 2. He
mentioned that key blocs in the Democratic Party, such
as Latinos, African-Americans, and Catholics, are
showing support for the amendment.
"We also know
that a majority of black Democrats are supporting this
-- like 60% -- based on religious reasons," he said. He also
said Latinos, many of whom in the state
are Catholic, will be an important group of
voters to pass the amendment.
organization supporting the amendment, is targeting
various groups in Florida -- including Democrats,
African-Americans, Latinos, young voters, and senior
citizens -- that may boost the yes vote to the
required 60% to pass the measure.
polling indicates that Democrats strongly support
keeping marriage defined between a man and a woman,"
Yes2Marriage's John Stemberger said in a press
release. "This is an issue that many Democratic
families understand, and we believe they will support
Lauderdale city commission, which Naugle heads as mayor,
failed to pass a resolution opposing the amendment on
Tuesday, according to the South FloridaSun-Sentinel. Vice Mayor Charlotte Rodstrom
reportedly asked for a resolution from the commission, but
none of the commissioners would offer the motion for a
proposes to ensure that marriage maintains a legal union
between a man and a woman, providing that "no other legal
union that is treated as marriage or the substantial
equivalent thereof shall be valid or recognized." The
opposition to the amendment says it would further
limit arrangements like registered domestic partnerships,
but Naugle says that won't happen.
County we have a domestic-partnership ordinance, so [gay
couples] can have many of the rights that straight couples
have," he said. "No one's going to lose any benefits;
seniors aren't going to be hurt. It just simply
defines marriage between one man and one woman."
municipalities in Florida offer domestic partnerships,
Florida does not offer a statewide registry.
In the past year
Naugle has become a sharp critic of LGBT people. In
2007 he supported a $250,000 single-occupancy toilet, which
he claimed would reduce gay sex in public restrooms.
He also opposed moving the Stonewall Library into a
city building. (Michelle Garcia, The Advocate)