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Lawsuit Filed
Against Opponents of Florida Marriage Equality

Lawsuit Filed
Against Opponents of Florida Marriage Equality

Florida Red & Blue -- the organization running the campaign against Amendment 2, a ballot initiative that would constitutionally ban same-sex marriage in the Sunshine State -- has filed a lawsuit on Tuesday against a group opposing marriage equality.

Florida Red & Blue -- the organization running the campaign against Amendment 2, a ballot initiative that would constitutionally ban same-sex marriage in the Sunshine State -- has filed a lawsuit on Tuesday against a group opposing marriage equality.

Red & Blue claims that Florida4Marriage.org has refused to disclose their campaign donors or comply with election laws. The lawsuit names Florida4Marriage.org, the amendment's sponsor, the organization's chairman John Stemberger, and Florida Family Action, a group affiliated with Florida4Marriage.org that has raised and spent more than $750,000 to underwrite the pro-Amendment 2 campaign.

According to Red & Blue, Stemberger sent an e-mail in September that advised prospective donors that contributions to Florida Family Policy Council were "confidential." Red & Blue lawyers say this was a scheme to circumvent Florida's campaign finance laws that mandate transparency of all donors.

The suit seeks a court order that would compel the Florida Family Action Committee to disclose their donors and an emergency injunction to stop the expenditure of illegally obtained funds. The suit also seeks to end the broadcast of pro-amendment advertising that was paid for by illegal contributions.

"This is a pernicious and sordid attempt to evade Florida's comprehensive campaign finance laws intended to promote full disclosure of political contributions and expenditures," said Red & Blue attorneys Joseph Geller and Ben Kuehne in a release. "The facts demonstrate those named in this lawsuit have flagrantly displayed a blatant disregard for Florida's campaign finance laws." (Neal Broverman, The Advocate)

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