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Florida Joins Other States to Ban Same-Sex marriage

by Nondace GarrettPEP Young Women's Leadership Council

This year's election was historic, to say the least. Those of us who truly believe in equal opportunity have been waiting a long time for this moment, and now that our President-Elect embraces this principle, we can only be hopeful for our future. That is why I feel a little ungrateful for being disappointed with any aspect of this election.

My home state of Florida joined two other states with ballot initiatives to ban same-sex marriage and, like the others, it passed with a large majority. Here it was cleverly titled the "Protection of Marriage Amendment" otherwise known as "Prop 2". This amendment would "protect" marriage in a way that only unions between a man and a woman would be recognized as so. I fail to see how this would in any respect "protect" marriage.

I must admit that I am not at all surprised by the outcome. Throughout the weeks leading up to the election, you were hard-pressed to find a street corner without a "Yes on 2" sign. I understand that it is part of the election process, but it was disheartening to see the blatant manipulation of the Yes on 2 campaign. These signs pictured children holding hands although the amendment dealt only with adults. The effect was obvious. I can see how people may have viewed these signs and thought that if they voted no it will somehow have impacted children negatively. I understand that proponents believe it will, but at the end of the day it is about adult relationships. And by using this effective tool of manipulation they undermined what I believe to be the very essence of a democracy: the right of people to make informed decisions. It is possible that if voters really understood what they were voting for, they may have voted differently.

I myself come from a family that certainly wouldn't fall into a "normal" category, but we love each other the same. Families are formed in many different ways, and if two people are fortunate enough to find someone they want to spend their life with, then who are we to tell them no?

Florida took a step back this election, but I still feel hopeful about the future, as I am proud of the fact that we did contribute to the Obama victory. I truly believe that one day we will look back on this time and question what we were thinking, just as we do now when we reflect back on the days of segregation.

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