News

Students fight marriage amendment

A coalition of activists for equality for people of diverse sexual orientations and gender identities has begun a campaign to raise campus awareness about a Florida amendment that could ban civil unions

OUTspoken, an organization started in the spring of 2004, disagrees with the amendment that would ban civil unions among homosexuals, bisexuals and transsexuals.

Erin Horth, a sophomore and OUTspoken chairperson, said the passing of the amendment would be a significant defeat in the fight for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transsexual (GLBT) rights.

“Winning marriage equality is one of the major ways to achieve equality for gay, lesbian and bisexual people,” Horth said.

According to the Marriage Protection Amendment, even if an unmarried couple – homosexual or heterosexual — gained domestic partnership in a state where civil union is legal, such as New Jersey, the relationship would not be officially recognized in Florida.

OUTspoken has tried to spread knowledge about the amendment and its implications by posting two banners in the UC breezeway and Memorial Classroom Building, passing out information cards and tabling in the breezeway.

“We try to inform people rather than convince them,” Horth said. “But when I tell most people what the amendment proposes, they are so against it.”

Matt Micklavzina, a sophomore, said he has seen the OUTspoken banners and feels that the fight against this amendment should not be fought by OUTspoken alone, adding that the university’s entire GLBT community should be involved.

“Any gay or lesbian who intends to live in Florida and has a spouse needs to talk to their friends and explain why they should vote against it,” Micklavzina said. “I already asked my parents to vote no.”

OUTspoken also publicized the amendment during its annual “Marriages on the Rock” ceremony, which allows any two people to have “mock marriages” regardless of gender. Horth said the event, which took place March 28, would send the message that marriage discrimination is not acceptable.

However, not every student at UM approves of the Marriages on the Rock ceremony and same sex civil unions.

Siobhan Williams, a junior studying biomedical engineering, said she does not support homosexual relations because of what is said in the Bible, and said she was “saddened” by the Marriages on the Rock ceremony. She invoked a Biblical verse from Leviticus which reads, “You shall not lie with a male as those who lie with a female; it is an abomination.”

“I condemn the action of homosexuality, but not the people,” Williams said.

Still, most members of OUTspoken viewed the marriages as a successful way to raise awareness. The guest speaker at the event, Chris Fisher, a UM alumnus and former OUTspoken president, said that members of the GLBT community and heterosexuals must fight together against the amendment.

Anthony Minerva may be contacted at a.minerva@umiami.edu and Stephanie Ceverino may be contacted at s.ceverino@umiami.edu

The Marriage Protection Amendment states, “Inasmuch as marriage is the legal union of only one man and one woman as husband and wife, no other legal union that is treated as marriage or the substantial equivalent thereof shall be valid or recognized.”

Sixty percent of voters must approve an amendment in order for it to pass and become a law, according to Section 5e, Article 11 of the Florida state constitution.

When to vote: Primary election on Aug. 26; General election on Nov. 4

More voting information is available at MiamiDade.gov/elections.

April 17, 2008

Reporters

The Miami Hurricane

Student newspaper at the University of Miami


Around the Web
  • Miami Herald
  • UM News
  • HurricaneSports

If he hasn’t made it already, Miami Hurricanes coach Mark Richt has a defining decision to ponder in ...

They were way below the radar coming into the 1983 season. And after their 28-3 opening-game loss to ...

In the opening eight minutes on Saturday — and the final seven minutes — FIU looked like a team that ...

The N’Kosi Perry era is here. Whether it’s here to stay is yet to be seen. The fans got what they wa ...

Ten takeaways from UM’s 31-17 win against FIU on Saturday at Hard Rock Stadium: ▪ Credit Mark Richt ...

Get Out The Vote, a nonpartisan initiative headed by the Division of Student Affairs and the Butler ...

University of Miami Libraries commemorates Banned Books Week with a special event and display. ...

A year after UPup’s founding father met his match, the service club is realizing its goal of becomin ...

UM students, faculty and staff commemorated the five-year anniversary of the Donna E. Shalala Studen ...

Miami’s Turnover Chain inspires copycats, but the U’s turnover prop has a ‘cool factor.’ ...

The Miami Hurricanes were one of the biggest risers in both major polls released Sunday, jumping to ...

The University of Miami volleyball program defeated Duke, 3-1, winning its fourth straight match and ...

Estela Perez-Somarriba of the Miami women's tennis team earned one of the most prestigious coll ...

The season-opening, three-day Miami Fall Invite wrapped up Sunday at the Neil Schiff Tennis Center a ...

N'Kosi Perry and a dominant Miami defense led the Hurricanes to a 31-17 victory over the Panthe ...

TMH Twitter
About TMH

The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published weekly in print on Tuesdays during the regular academic year.