by Javier Manjarres
At last weekend’s Florida Family Policy Council Senate Forum, former U.S. Senator George LeMieux stated that he supports both the state and Federal Defense of Marriage Acts (DOMA). The 1996 federal DOMA signed by President Clinton defined marriage as between one man and one woman. But somewhat contradictory, LeMieux also believes that gay marriage initiatives should be dealt with at the state level rather than the federal level.
Back in 1998 when LeMieux was running for the Florida House of Representatives in Broward county, LeMieux told the St. Petersburg Times that he supported gay adoption and same-sex benefits while still keeping his opposition to gay marriage, asserting that voters should have the right to decide the matter via referendum. But now, LeMieux has dropped his previous support for civil unions and same sex-benefits. These same-sex benefits can only be issued by the state if there is a court ruling or law in place that mandates that these benefits to be distributed to eligible couples.
While gay adoptions are legal in Florida, civil unions are not recognized by the state, so benefits to both same-sex and opposite-sex couples do not apply. In the 2008 general election, Floridians voted in favor of ‘Amendment 2’ which passed with overwhelming support and stated, “This amendment protects marriage as the legal union of only one man and one woman as husband and wife and provides that no other legal union that is treated as marriage or the substantial equivalent thereof shall be valid or recognized.”
Senator LeMieux has further stated that he would not support any further amendment to the Florida constitution that would call for legalizing gay marriage.
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