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The Insanity of John Stemberger: Going Down the Rabbit Hole in Florida

It looks like the Right-Wingers behind Florida’s Amendment 2 are borrowing from the California Prop 8 playbook.  It shouldn’t be surprising, since they “borrowed” ads from Arizona’s amendment fight.  The leader of the pack, John Stemberger, an Orlando attorney organizing the campaign, has jumped further into crazy town in a recent press conference.  Stemberger said:


Failing to ban gay marriage in the state constitution could result in the indoctrination of schoolchildren into a gay lifestyle.  Florida schools might have to teach that gay weddings are the same as traditional unions if the proposal fails at the polls.

Huh?  Maybe Stemberger doesn’t realize that there are four laws on the books in Florida that outlaw same-sex marriage.  Passing Amendment 2 won’t change anything- unless you count stripping away domestic partnerships and benefits, which the vague langue threatens to do.

Or maybe he’s just fear mongering and pulling an Anita Bryant “Save the Children” trump card since support for Amendment 2 is waning and he has been accused of breaking campaign finance laws to pass Amendment 2.  Let’s go down the rabbit hole further with Stemberger and his clan…Stemberger had his own “Anita” on hand, as well.  Anita Staver, a co-author of the constitutional amendment and an attorney who heads the Liberty Counsel in Lynchburg, Va, said this of Amendment 2:

The ultimate goal of those opposing Amendment 2 is to silence all opposition to same-sex behavior and the homosexual lifestyle.  The battle over marriage is actually a battle over freedom of speech.

I’m sure the co-author of the Amendment- who wrote the vague, domestic partnership-stripping  language “substantial equivalent thereof” into it, who heads up one the most right wing groups in the country, and doesn’t even live in Florida– is a great source of unbiased information…  

And I’m confused- is this about marriage equality, education, or freedom of speech?  Are they just throwing out catch phrases to see what sticks?  A “kitchen sink” attack?

Standing in front of oversized copies of the covers of two children’s books titled “Heather Has Two Mommies” and “King and King,” Stemberger continued the wild allegations, saying:

The issue is not just about two people living together. A constitutional amendment is needed because public education and religious liberties would change if an activist judge strikes down existing laws against gay marriage.  This is an affront to parents’ rights.

An affront to parent’s rights?  Do you mean it won’t harm kids and take away parent’s right’s by stripping away a couple’s right to make decisions for each other in the hospital, have benefits, or care for one another using a domestic partnership?  That seems like the real affront.

The crazy parade continued when a James Pope, a social studies teacher from Hillsborough County, got up and let loose this screed:

I am saddened and appalled that I may be the person responsible for teaching students about same-sex marriage and not their parents.  If Florida courts ever invalidate laws against same-sex marriage, teachers might have to put it on a par with heterosexual unions in their curriculum.  My job is to teach, not indoctrinate.

It looks like you are doing some pretty heavy indoctrination right there, Mr. Pope.

This campaign is going even more off the deep-end.  They are desperately trying to distract from what their amendment really does- take away domestic partnership rights and benefits from unmarried couples, gay and straight, in Florida.  And perhaps distract from the illegal activities of their campaign that the state is now investigating- money funneling, skirting finance laws, false reporting, and many other serious infractions.

This is just more lies from more liars.  

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