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Florida Marriage Amendment Passes by 62 Percent Despite Being Outspent 3 to 1

The following report was sent by John Stemberger, chairman of Florida’s “Yes2Marriage.org” marriage protection amendment that passed by over 62 percent in the state. Congratulations to everyone in Florida and outside of Florida who contributed to this victory — but especially to John Stemberger for his stellar leadership. — Peter LaBarbera

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A Special Report:

Passage of the Florida Marriage Protection Amendment: the Triumph of the Common Man over Cultural Elites

Dear Friend,

We did it — You did it — And ultimately God did it!  After four long years of hard work and some rather stunning opposition along the way, the Florida Marriage Protection Act is now a permanent part of the Florida Constitution under Article I, Section 27.  This is simply a remarkable and historical victory.  Well over four and a half million Floridians comprising 62.1% of the electorate voted for the common sense idea that marriage will remain between one man and one woman.

Thank You So Much
Yesterday Dr. James Dobson called to congratulate me and to interview me on the national Focus on the Family broadcast.  Dr. Dobson asked me to personally thank every single person in Florida who labored and supported this great cause.  I also wish I could speak face to face with every single one of the hundreds and thousands of pastors, county coordinators, phone bankers, sign waivers, volunteers, and people who just asked their family and friends to vote “Yes on 2” and personally thank them also.

Educating Ourselves into Imbecility
From my perspective, this victory is really a triumph of the common man over the cultural elite.  This vote represents the views of the vast majority of Floridians who are hard working, have families and children, love their country and whose faith is not some rabbit’s foot in their pocket but a real and vibrant part of who they are and what they stand for.  On the other hand, every single daily newspaper in Florida (all 27 of them) openly opposed Amendment 2 not just once– but several times in their editorial pages.  All this reminds me of what English Journalist Malcolm Muggeridge said about the modern man: “We have now educated ourselves into a state of complete imbecility.”

Consider the Opposition We Faced Along the Way
The opposition we have faced over the last four years was simply stunning.  Consider what we have overcome together:

  1. The rules changed after we started the petition effort from requiring a 50% approval to pass a state amendment to a new 60% approval needed to pass it.  We opposed this change initially but accepted the challenge once it was passed.
  2. A so-called “gay” church in Jacksonville tried to intimidate Florida voters who signed the marriage petition by publishing their names online with a “Know thy Neighbor” campaign.  We used the website as a tool to help us find friends and family who had not yet signed the petition!
  3. City of Sunrise police officers threatened to arrest me for displaying petitions in “public view” on a table at a Promise Keepers conference where we paid $800 to exhibit in a parking lot.  Two of the male officers mocked our volunteers by kissing each other while they were being photographed.  We filed a federal civil rights lawsuit against the bad cops.
  4. Hours after holding a press conference in Tallahassee to announce we had collected over the number of signatures needed, the Division of Elections website lowered the online number to below the required signatures needed.
  5. The Miami Dade Supervisor of Elections “accidentally” double counted 22,000 petitions requiring an emergency effort on our part to get an additional 22,000 signatures in only 13 days. We ended up collecting over 92,000 in 13 days!
  6. The Scripps Howard Newspaper service mistakenly published a month old news story (as if it were breaking news) in 4 south Florida newspapers and in local TV news stories reporting that we had made the petition goal while the emergency collection effort was still underway. The newspaper then refused to report their major mistake as news!
  7. Our opponents collectively outspent us almost 3 to 1.  But we had a hundred times more volunteers then they did.
  8. Our opponents pumped out a predicted avalanche of fraud, deception and false claims in TV ads. Their tactic was to prey upon Florida’s most vulnerable and precious citizens—our seniors.  We reached out to seniors and warned them of this deception.
  9. Untold thousands of yard signs were stolen, vandalized and destroyed.  Billboards were defaced.  Cars with Yes2Marriage bumper stickers were keyed.  Ugly e-mails, faxes and hate mail were a daily occurrence in the main office.  We turned the other cheek and obeyed the law.
  10. In desperation as they were slipping in the polls, opponents filed last-minute complaints against us with the Division of Elections and then only days before November 4, they filed a completely frivolous lawsuit timed to be heard the day before the election as a cheap publicity stunt. The “emergency” lawsuit was denied by the judge on all counts.
  11. The day before the election former President of the United States Bill Clinton made a quarter of a million robo calls trying to scare people into voting no on 2!   We prayed that God would give us favor higher than any sitting President.

And in spite of all this opposition — and because of your efforts and support — we were still victorious!

What does this means for Florida’s Future?
What the passage of Amendment 2 means for Florida is that as a matter of law marriage will be held in esteem and respected as a special and unique relationship which is vital to our success. Gender differences and words like “mother and father” not be removed from the law and declared bigoted. It means that kindergarten girls and boys will not come home with “diversity” packets containing brochures entitled “Am I gay?”. It means that second graders will not learn to read from books like Heather has Two Mommies and the King and King. It means that crafty homosexual activists will not be able to create gay marriage and try and call it something else like what happened in California and Connecticut.  It really means that a whole of array of legal and policy nonsense aimed at radically redefining natural marriage and family structures will never see the light of day.

Major Thanks!

While the leaders and staff of the Florida Family Policy Council were the primary force behind spearheading this historic effort, there was a diverse coalition of thousands of churches, demoninations, businesses and organizations that participated on and off along the way.  But there are some organizations and persons that have to be thanked and recognized for their full and unconditional support of this effort the entire way through this four year process. They are: Focus on the Family, Focus Action, Florida Baptist Convention, Liberty Counsel, Florida Catholic Conference, Knights of Columbus, Family Research Council, American Family Association, National  Organization for Marriage, The High Impact Coalition, Christian Coalition, Community Issues Council, Exodus International, Eagle Forum of Florida, Florida Family Association and the Christian Family Coalition.  Senator Dan Webster, State Rep. Frank and Juda Atkisson, former Senator Tom Lee, Pastor Clayton Cloer, Pastor Tom Messer, Bishop Harry R. Jackson, and Pastor Guillermo Maldonado.  In addition to the above major supporters there were also thousands of others who participated and supported the effort at various stages along the way.  These volunteers have spent hours, weeks, months and in some cases years working tirelessly for this effort.  These men, women and young people too many in number to list are the real unsung heroes and have my respect and admiration above all else.  And finally to the members of the staff and campaign team you all were simply amazing!  To all of them we offer our heartfelt thanks.

Again, thank you for your tireless efforts.  I am so grateful to God and so proud of for your help and support.  We changed the course of history and generations of children yet unborn will someday thank you for your efforts.

Sincerely,

John Stemberger
State Chairman, Yes2Marriage.org

PS- You can check the specific results of the final vote in your county HERE:

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Recent News Clips:
Associated Press: Not Totally Blue: Florida Bans Gay Marriage
http://www.miamiherald.com/news/politics/AP/story/758471.html

Palm Beach Post: Gay Rights Advocates Suffer Defeat in Four States
http://www.palmbeachpost.com/politics/content/nation/epaper/2008/11/05/a18a_
ballotmeasures_1106.html

Miami Herald: Gay Marriage Foes Get Several Victories
http://www.miamiherald.com/news/breaking-news/story/758798.html

Times Union: Marriage Defined, Supporters Tout Moral Values
http://www.jacksonville.com/tu-online/stories/110608/met_352581374.shtml

Lakeland Ledger: Marriage Issue Not Dead
http://www.theledger.com/article/20081105/NEWS/811050378/-1/NEWS36?Title=Marriage_Issue_Is_Not_Dead__Say_Friends__Foes_Of_Amendment

This article was posted on Thursday, November 13th, 2008 at 4:34 pm and is filed under "Civil Unions" & "Gay Marriage", "Civil Unions" & "Gay Marriage", A - What does the Bible say about homosexuality?, Biblical Truth, Court Decisions & Judges, Current State Law, Florida, Government Promotion, News, South Florida, The Bible, Churches, & Homosexuality. You can follow any updates to this article through the RSS 2.0 feed.

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