Anti-Gay Groups Compare Gay Couples Seeking Marriage to Segregationist Racist
State bans on the recognition of gay marriage are falling like dominoes, and a new lawsuit brought on by gay couples could lead to Florida following suit.
However, a group of social conservative groups announced their intention to fight to uphold Florida's gay marriage ban today.
During their press conference, Rev Nathaniel J. Wilcox compared the fight for marriage equality to Bull Conner, the Commissioner of Public Safety for the city of Birmingham, Alabama in the '60s who infamously released fire hoses and police attack dogs on peaceful protestors seeking civil rights and an end to segregation.
"Will Judge Sarah Zabel do to our voting rights what Bull Connor did to our civil rights?" Wilcox, leader of "People United to Lead the Struggle for Equality," asked, according to the Miami Herald.
"The blood of the martyrs cries out for justice," he continued. "This lawsuit is hardly about the institution of marriage as much as it is about the constitutional right to vote and having our votes counted and protected."
Last month, six gay couple announced that they intended to sue the state of Florida in order to overturn Florida's gay marriage ban. That ban, known then as Amendment 2, was passed in 2008 and succeeded by just two percent.
Polls of Florida likely voters indicate that the ban would have no chance of succeeding today.
The group of anti-marriage equality activists assembled in Miami today to announce their attention to fight the lawsuit. Groups represented included Anthony Verdugo's Christian Family Coalition and the Florida Democratic League in addition to Wilcox's PULSE.
Yes, the organizers intentionally selected Valentine's Day to hold the press conference.
Such blistering rhetoric, including comparing the fight for marriage equality to the fight to uphold segregation, is nothing new for the groups involved. Several of the same groups are also fighting a proposal to add gender identity to Miam-Dade's human right ordinance by claiming, essentially, that a ban on discriminating against transgender people would infringe on their right to discriminate against transgender people.
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you'll never miss Miami New Times' biggest stories.