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An Open Letter to My Friends & Neighbors (Straight & Gay) October 10, 2008 12:42 PM

Dear Care2 LGBT Friends, I was dismayed and disheartened to learn this week that 55 percent of Floridians believe that I am undeserving of the same basic human rights guaranteed to them under the law. I work hard, pay taxes, obey the law and I give back to the community. But apparently this isn’t enough in the minds of a majority of my neighbors, coworkers and acquaintances, as they don’t think I merit the same legal protections that they enjoy. According to an article in the Miami Herald , voters in the Sunshine State are likely to vote in favor of adding the so-called Marriage Protection Amendment (Amendment 2). Championed by the ‘family value’ loving religious right, this ballot measure will have a devastating effect on thousands of families and children. Assurances from proponents that the amendment would not negatively affect existing domestic partnership rights ring hollow in the ears of many of us who have followed the news of other states adopting similar measures. In November 2004, Michigan voters approved an amendment to their state constitution much like the proposed Florida amendment. In February of this year, the Michigan Court of Appeals issued a decision concluding that Michigan public universities cannot provide domestic-partner benefits to the same-sex partners of employees or the partners' children. Those good ol’ family values also includes deceitfulness and lying, I guess. Lest you think this a gay issue, consider this. According to a letter released this week by a group of over 150 Florida lawyers, there is a high probability of loss of existing legal protections and benefits for all Floridians, not just gay individuals. Domestic violence protections, private property arrangements, estate planning, and domestic partnership registries could be impacted if Florida voters adopt the amendment. I urge you to Vote NO on Amendment 2 this November. It may not be just my civil liberties you’ll be standing up for; it could very well be your own! Please consider forwarding this letter to any friends, family or acquaintances you have in the State of Florida. With Regards & Respect, David L. Wylie Senior Editor  [ send green star]  [ accepted]
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