Equality Florida and Freedom to Marry have announced Get Engaged! The joint campaign is designed to raise awareness about LGBT marital rights ahead of the effort to repeal the 2008 constitutional ban on same-sex marriage.
Nadine Smith, the executive director of Equality Florida, stated “Today, we’re launching Get Engaged, the statewide call to action with the goal of securing the freedom to marry right here in Florida. As the entire country is awaiting the Supreme Court ruling, it’s time for everyone who believes in equality and fairness to take a clear stand on the right side of history.”
Smith added “Florida’s changed dramatically since 2008, when just over 60 percent of voters embedded marriage discrimination into the constitution. In fact, Florida is a leader in the south, with 54 percent of voters in support of marriage for same-sex couples. In fact, only 23 percent of Floridians now oppose gay couples having all the rights and benefits of marriage.”
Amendment 2, the ban on same-sex marriage in Florida, was approved in 2008 by 62% of the electorate. Sixty percent of the state’s voters would have to vote to repeal the ban. A recent PPP poll found that 75% of Floridians support either same-sex marriage or civil unions. Public Religion Research found that 54% favor marriage equality.
Smith has told reporters, though, that Equality Florida is not ready yet to launch the effort to repeal Amendment 2. Instead, they are awaiting the decision from the US Supreme Court regarding California’s Prop 8. If the Supreme Court overturns Prop 8, they will not launch a full campaign. Equality Florida plans on monitoring the case and, if it does not affect them, start in on the campaign.
Smith noted that every successful marriage equality campaign “began with shifting public opinion, and that’s the heart of this campaign.”