Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Billionaire Gives $100K To Block Marriage Equality In Florida

Rich Devos, Amway billionaire and owner of the NBA Orlando Magic, is supporting Florida's Amendment 2 that blocks marriage equality and its substantial equivalent. This could be interpreted as civil unions and domestic partnerships.
Professional sports and political street theater intersected Sunday as opponents of a proposed amendment to the Florida Constitution vented their wrath on Magic owner Rich DeVos on the day season-ticket holders were selecting their seats.

The protesters were calling attention to DeVos' contribution of $100,000 to Florida4Marriage, a group that supports Amendment 2, which would add the existing ban on gay marriage to the state constitution. Opponents say the measure could also deny domestic-partnership benefits for unmarried couples -- gay and straight.

"He's the biggest contributor to the amendment from Orlando," said Jennifer Foster, who helped organize the protest, which drew about 30 people. "And he's getting $1 billion in taxpayers' money to build the arena. That sends a bad message."

The Florida "Marriage Protection Amendment" on the Nov. 4 ballot states that, "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."

"If this was just about gay marriage, it would have stopped at one man and one woman," Foster said. "They overreach into domestic partnerships."
Turnout for the presidential election may effect the passage of the amendment.

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