Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Got That Right

The Miami Herald editorializes about a proposed amendment to the Florida state constitution.

The drive to ban gay marriages with a state constitutional amendment, announced Monday by a coalition of conservative groups, is wrong-headed by every measure of reason. The Florida Legislature has already banned such unions between gays and lesbians by state statute.

We strongly disagreed with the Legislature’s action, which made it legal to deny rights to people based on their sexual orientation. But the law does exist, thus making any initiative to institutionalize such discrimination in our Constitution repugnant and offensive as well as wasteful. Citing the state law, Gov. Jeb Bush said on Monday that he currently sees no reason for a constitutional ban on gay marriages.

As we said in recommending No votes for six of the eight constitutional amendments on the Nov. 2 election ballot last year, Florida’s Constitution should be a document that lays out the basic tenets of state government and that codifies our highest ideals. It should not be larded up with frivolous amendments protecting pregnant pigs or laden with mean-spirited rules that target people rather than empower them.

Unfortunately, none of these arguments likely will deter those pushing to ob tain the required signatures to get this awful amendment on the 2006 ballot. In fact, supporters are confident that Floridians will do as voters in 11 states have done and approve the measure in large numbers. Only a vigorous resistance by fair-minded Floridians who respect our Constitution will repel this call to further institutionalize a hateful form of discrimination.

Let’s see…”hateful,” “wrong-headed,” “mean-spirited”… I think that about covers it.