Gay Allies Form Group In Florida Marriage Battle
by 365Gay.com Newscenter Staff
Posted: July 11, 2007 - 3:30 pm ET
(Tallahassee, Florida) A new organization made up mainly of people who are not gay has amassed more than $1 million to battle a proposed amendment to the state constitution to ban same-sex marriage.
Florida Red & Blue boasts both Democrats and Republicans among its members. The organization says that the proposed amendment could be devastating not only for gay and lesbian couples but also for unmarried opposite-sex couples who live together.
The group says that many straight couples in non-married relationships depend on domestic partner registries.
Florida Red & Blue is led by Bob Farmer, a former treasurer for the Democratic National Committee and a key fundraiser for four Democratic presidential campaigns; and by Jon Kislak, the former financial director for Republican Attorney General Bill McCollum's campaign.
In just 60 days they raised $1.01 million.
''This is not just a gay marriage amendment,'' the Miami Herald quotes Stephen Gaskill, a spokesperson for the group as saying.
"It's easy to focus on that because that's what is controversial, but it goes way beyond that.''
The proposed amendment is being pushed by conservative Christian group Florida4Marriage. It attempted to have the measure placed on the 2006 ballot but fell short of the required number of signatures.
Of the 611,009 signatures necessary to place the amendment on the November 2006 ballot, only 455,363 were gathered by the February 1, 2006, deadline. (story)
But under Florida law Florida4Marriage, can continue to add names to the petition in a bid to get it on the 2008 ballot.
The group says it needs 18,000 more signatures by February to get the amendment on next year's ballot.
Read Further Coverage in the Miami Herald by Steve Rothaus