Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Broward County School Board Against Amendment 2

Good for them.

Concerned that a ban on gay marriage would mean losing employees or getting slapped with lawsuits, the Broward School Board on Tuesday voted unanimously to oppose a proposed constitutional amendment.

”It’s just the right thing to do,” said board member Jennifer Gottlieb, who brought the issue to the board after learning of the potential fallout from a member of the school district’s diversity committee.

Opponents of the proposed Marriage Protection Amendment say it could have wide-ranging effects such as preventing businesses from extending health benefits to those with unmarried partners.

”I don’t know how [the Marriage Protection Amendment] is protecting marriage,” board member Eleanor Sobel said.

”The language is very vague.”

However, proponents of the amendment say concern over the loss of health benefits is simply a scare tactic.

About 215 people who work for the school system use domestic partnership benefits. The district employs about 36,000 people.


”When we say and recite our pledge of allegiance, we say liberty and justice for all,” said Adriane Reesey, a community involvement specialist with the Broward Sheriff’s Office, which also endorsed the board’s decision.

School Board members also said people’s private lives are not the government’s business.

”I don’t believe it belongs in the Constitution,” chairwoman Robin Bartleman said. ”It’s nobody’s business if somebody wants to enter a domestic partnership.”

A recent poll shows Amendment 2 with support of 55% of voters, but it requires a 60% margin to become law.

It would be nice if the Miami-Dade County School Board would come out against the amendment, but they’re a little pre-occupied with their own problems at the moment. Maybe next month.