This morning on the way to work as I made the turn from John Young onto LB McCloud, my chin literally dropped at the insanely large number of "Vote YES On 2" signs blanketing the grounds around this entire area.
I guess I shouldn't be too surprised, after all, this is the location of the largest Baptist Church in Orange County. It is one of those obscenely large evangelical churches that broadcasts their services on TV telling everyone how their money will help them "spread the word". Scary place.
Even with that said though, it just amazes me to see how ignorant people can be. Amendment Number 2 as these signs are referring to will put into law something that will greatly harm everyone. While the religious right likes to focus on the glaringly homophobic "Anti-Gay Marriage" aspects of this amendment, this bill also affects heterosexual unions as well.
Florida tried this very same bill in the last election and it didn't pass. At that time the wording on the ballot covered both the "Anti-Gay Marriage" aspects as well as the parts affecting heterosexual unions and thus most people realized how dumb this bill was. This time the religious right has shaped the summary of the bill listed on the ballot to only include the "Anti-Gay Marriage" verbiage. I find this to be a travesty because it is certain that the uninformed will vote YES without fully realizing the implications of their vote.
Voting YES on Amendment 2 affects "Gay Marriage" but it also affects the ever popular "Civil Unions" among Heterosexuals. Times aren't want they used to be and a lot of people are choosing not to get married. It isn't that they don't love their Significant Other, it is just that they have lived through Divorce in their family and maybe even been through a Divorce of their own and don't want to risk making such a "mistake". Instead of "sealing the deal" in the church or through the court, these people live happily together as if they were married. While Florida doesn't have laws to protect "Civil Unions", the Healthcare system does and in the past such recognition by the healthcare system has helped in legal battles where "rights" were in question.
Voting YES on Amendment 2 will completely remove any "right" you may have where your Significant Other is concerned. That's right, if your SO ends up in the hospital and it is a life and death situation and no blood relatives are around to "make the decisions", you will NOT be given that right. Even when a blood relative is around, you will NOT have the "rights" to protect your loved one. Here in Florida we watched in the past few years as a young woman lane in her hospital bed in a vegetative state. She had already discussed on numerous occasions with her Significant Other that she did not want to be kept alive in a vegetative state if that ever happened and she left it up to him to protect her. The only problem is that her parents stepped in and would not let go. Ultimately the judicial system ruled that her Significant Other had the "rights" to carry out her wishes. Under Amendment 2, such "rights" will be revoked.
Ask yourself, who knows better, the person that you have been living with for the last 15 years or your parents who live in a different state or even a different country and rarely visit?
Amendment 2 also harms our senior citizens. So many seniors these days find themselves lonely after their spouse passes away and many live in "Civil Unions". They may never "make it official" but the love is still there. These seniors would find that they too have no "rights" under Amendment 2.
Don't be fooled, this isn't a "Gay" thing, it is much more.
Get informed and do the right thing as you head out to vote.