John Stemberger
playing dress-up

The fact that our local hate group, Florida Family Action, opposes marriage equality was a given. I have included, below, today’s email from John Stemberger, head of Florida Family Action, and their Motion to Intervene filed by Mat Staver of Liberty Counsel. Liberty Counsel was just named an anti-LGBT hate group by SPLC. John Stemberger is, perhaps, best known as the driving force behind an alternative Boy Scouts that excludes gays and effectively excludes non-Christians. A decision in our favor in federal court would represent an enormous loss for Stemberger who is heavily invested in marriage discrimination. Florida Family Action was one of the organizations behind Florida Amendment 2 which banned same-sex marriage in 2008.

The rhetoric is the standard gibberish about the will of the people being thwarted by radical “homosexual activists:

Having lost in the marketplace of ideas, and having failed to convince the public to adopt their radical version of “marriage,” homosexual activists have now filed suit, asking Miami judge Sarah Zabel to throw out the votes of 8 million Floridians, and to judicially impose homosexual marriage upon all Floridians.

I must have forgotten how civil rights are in the “marketplace of ideas.” At the risk of repeating myself (I am) in United States v. Windsor Justice Kennedy made it perfectly clear that states are free to regulate marriage providing that they do not interfere with the civil rights of citizens. The fact that he then cited Loving v. Virginia as an example is very telling.

At stake, as in all the other federal cases are civil rights afforded by due process and equal protection. The state does not get to redefine those through legislation or referendum. Based upon precedent, Windsor and recent cases in Utah, Oklahoma, Virginia and Kentucky the outcome of this case (Preto v Ruvin) is likely to favor equality. 

Stemberger’s email and the motion include two other groups that I am in the process of investigating. Both seem to have little more than a Facebook presence. They are People United to Lead the Struggle for Equality and Florida Democratic League. Both organizations are oddly named, to say the least.

Hate groups unite to thwart marriage equality in Florida by David Hart

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By David Cary Hart

Retired CEO. Formerly a W.E. Deming-trained quality-management consultant. Now just a cranky Jewish queer. Gay cis. He/Him/His.