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Anti-Gay Floridians Aim to Amend Constitution
The stated purpose was aiming directly at a central argument of their political opponents.
Activists arguing against putting the gay marriage ban in the constitution say one of its side effects would be to hurt elderly straight couples, many of whom choose living-together arrangements rather than marriage, often to preserve pension and Social Security benefits.
The way the proposed gay marriage ban is worded, opponents say, those straight couples' arrangements could be jeopardized.
To counter that argument, backers of the proposed Amendment 2 on the November ballot arranged to have seniors endorse the idea at a series of news conferences throughout the state on Thursday.
However, the everyday seniors that proponents arranged to appear at the Fort Lauderdale news conference weren’t familiar with that aspect of the issue. Instead, they emphasized their concern for children.
Ann Scira of Deerfield Beach has been married to her husband, Arthur, for 67 years, leading her to conclude that is the only appropriate form of marital union.
Why is the issue important to Scira? "It's important to me because this is the way it should be. It should be a man and a woman. You need a man and a woman to make a baby, so you need a man and a woman to stay together and raise this baby. That's why it's important to me. Listen, I have a lot of homosexual friends. I mean I don't dislike them, but this is what I believe in."
Betty Whitehouse of Oakland Park, who said she was married for more than 60 years before her husband died, said she supports the proposed amendment, but wasn't familiar with the opponents' view that its passage would hurt people in her age group.
"I don't really know anything about it," Whitehouse said.
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