Category Archives: Florida

Iowa Gay Marriage Fraud Prevents At Least One Man From Taking a Bride

The Associated Press:

Marriage LicenseA former rural Iowa court official pleaded guilty Monday to forgery for filing false documents to issue a marriage license to a same-sex couple from central Florida, in the first case of its kind in Iowa.

... The resolution drew criticism from Joab Penney of Williston, Fla., who says Van Nice's actions duped him out of $150 and gave him an unending legal headache. Penney said he was outraged when court officials advised him Monday he should hire an attorney to petition to void his marriage license - which he said should have never been issued in the first place.

...The Florida men discovered the fraud months later, when Penney contacted an attorney to seek a divorce. The attorney was suspicious because the men had never been to Iowa and Van Nice mailed the application materials from her home, not the courthouse. The attorney contacted authorities asking for an investigation.Penney said he now wants to marry a woman in Florida, but officials there say that he's legally married to Parker and needs to obtain a divorce first.

...Penney said he has been frustrated by the lack of answers from officials in Iowa and the legal limbo he's in.

"I want to get married here to a woman, and I can't," he said. "It's a major headache. I've changed my lifestyle because of all of this. It has offended me that much."

Florida Judge Approves Birth Certificate Listing Three Parents


A Florida judge has approved the adoption of a 22-month-old baby girl that will list three people as parents on her birth certificate -- a married lesbian couple and a gay man.

The decision ends a two-year paternity fight between the couple and a friend of the women who donated his sperm to father the child but later sought a larger role in the girl's life.

The ruling means the child's birth certificate will include a biological father and both women as parents in an unusual arrangement approved recently by a Miami-Dade Circuit Court judge.

The women, Maria Italiano, 43, and Cher Filippazzo, 38, had made several unsuccessful attempts to become parents using fertility clinics.

They then turned to Italiano's hair dresser, Massimiliano Gerina, and asked if he would provide his sperm for artificial insemination.

More details of the arrangement:

Under the judge's decision, the two women will have sole parental rights, although Gerina will be allowed to visit the child. He will not be expected to provide child support.

"We're trying to do the right thing for Emma," Filippazzo said. "We want Emma to have it all, and we believe by doing it this way, including him in a birthday or Thanksgiving, it'll be a nice addition for her."

"We believe the best interest for Emma is for him to have a role in her life, but not as a parent," she said. "The role is this is mommy's good friend who helped your moms have you because they wanted you so badly."

Archbishop Wenski: Obama Imposing His SSM Views on the Country

Archbishop Thomas Wenski of Miami in one of his recent weekly columns:

"...In seeking to redefine the legal definition of marriage to include same sex unions, President Obama and other proponents of "gay marriage" are in effect imposing their views and lifestyle on the larger populace. Once legal, the state's coercive power will punish those who refuse to embrace gay marriages. For example, public officials - regardless of their views on the rightness or wrongness of homosexual acts - will be obliged to officiate at same sex "weddings", and public schools will be required to teach their acceptability to children whether parents concur or not. Even First Amendment freedoms will not be protected from assault.

Marriage has been primarily about the raising of children (who seem to be hardwired to be best raised by a father and a mother who are married to each other). Society has a legitimate interest in favoring such traditional marriages as a way of investing in the future of society by providing for the human flourishing of upcoming generations.

Same sex "marriage" - if allowed to prevail in law - will result in the devaluation of all marriages with terrible consequences to society. That marriage is a life long union between a man and a woman is certainly part of Catholic teaching - in fact, in our teaching, this union is seen as a covenant and is a sacrament. However, marriage as a union between a man and a woman for the sake of family is not a product of religious sectarianism. Nor is marriage a creation of the state. It is founded in nature itself.

Marriage understood as a union between one man and one woman as an institution precedes church and state - if not a creation of Church or state, neither has any authority to change the nature of marriage.

The common good demands that the understanding of marriage as a union between one man and one woman not be lost."

Florida Poll: 25% of Voters Less Inclined to Back Obama Over Gay Marriage Issue

Less than two months ago Obama led Romney in Florida by 7 points. Now he trails Romney by 6 points. What changed?

Politico's Byron Tau writes:

President Obama's same-sex marriage endorsement makes a full quarter of Florida voters less likely to cast their ballots for him, according to a poll released Monday.

Quinnipac's latest poll of the Sunshine State finds that 25 percent of voters say Obama's endorsement of gay marriage makes them less likely to vote for him. On the other hand, 11 percent say that it makes them more likely to vote for him.

... On the whole, Romney beats President Obama by six points in Florida, leading 47 to 41 percent over the incumbent president.

Florida Sun Sentinel: "Many Black Voters Unhappy with Obama Over Same-Sex Marriage"

Florida is of course an important swing state in the November election. In 2008, it voted 62% in favor of marriage, back when President Obama said he believed in one-man, one-woman marriage. In the same year, he only carried the state by 3 points.

The Sun Sentinel reports:

At the Neighborhood Unisex Barbershop on Sistrunk Boulevard in northwest Fort Lauderdale, the room fell silent as the president's interview came on TV. At Mount Calvary Baptist Church in Pompano Beach, the pastor turned the midweek Bible study into an open forum on the controversy. At St. John Primitive Baptist Church in Delray Beach, the pastor expressed his concerns.

"That's crazy," said Demetrius Simmons, 27. "In Scripture, a man should stick with a woman." His view was common, across generations, among people attending midweek services last week at Mount Bethel Baptist Church in Fort Lauderdale. For Louise Branch, 53, it's simple: "God says man-woman."

And Rosalee Colen, 89, said she'd "tell Obama right to his face I don't believe in that." If the president prayed about same-sex marriage, Colen said he'd realize he's wrong.

Obama can't afford to alienate too many people like Simmons, Branch and Colen.

An explosion of pride and political enthusiasm among African-Americans generated a wave of votes in 2008 that helped make Obama America's first president of color. And black voters are an essential part of the coalition Obama needs if he's to win re-election, especially in Florida, which awards 29 of the 270 electoral votes needed to win the presidency.

How critical are votes from black Floridians? In 2008, Obama won 51 percent of the vote in the state. Exit polls showed he won 42 percent of white voters. Hispanics, who made up 14 percent of the electorate, voted 57 percent for Obama. And African-Americans, who were 13 percent of the state's voters in 2008, voted 96 percent for Obama.

"The African-American community is socially conservative and church-oriented," said state Sen. Chris Smith, a Democrat who represents Broward and Palm Beach counties. Two days after the president's May 9 statement, "we got into a heated discussion at my barbershop. My barber and the guy next to me were opposed to it. They were opposed to gay marriage and they think it's wrong."

AP: Same-Sex Custody Battle Could Redefine Legal Motherhood

The Associated Press:

A custody battle in Florida between two lesbians could fuel the growing national debate over the definition of motherhood.

... The women, now in their 30s and known in court papers only by their initials, were both law enforcement officers in Florida. One partner donated an egg that was fertilized and implanted in the other. That woman gave birth in 2004, nine years into their relationship.

But the Brevard County couple separated two years later, and the birth mother eventually left Florida with the child without telling her former lover. The woman who donated the egg and calls herself the biological mother finally tracked them down in Australia with the help of a private detective.

Their fight over the now 8-year-old girl is before the state Supreme Court, which has not announced whether it will consider the case. A trial judge ruled for the birth mother and said the biological mother has no parental rights under state law, adding he hoped his decision would be overturned.

... in a blistering dissent, Judge C. Alan Lawson said the trial judge got it right. A child can have only one mother, he wrote.

The court shouldn't recognize two mothers "unless we are also willing to invalidate laws prohibiting same-sex marriage, bigamy, polygamy or adult incestuous relationships on the same basis," Lawson said.

NOM Congratulates Mitt Romney on Florida Win

Contact: Anath Hartmann or Elizabeth Ray at 703-683-5004

NOM Logo

Former Governor of Massachusetts has signed NOM's Marriage Pledge

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Brian Brown, the president of the National Organization for Marriage (NOM) today congratulated GOP presidential contender Mitt Romney on his victory in the Florida primary.

“NOM congratulates Mitt Romney on his extremely impressive win in Florida." said Brown. "As a major winner-take-all state, this is a significant win for Governor Romney. This also marks the fourth straight state where the winner is a signatory to NOM’s Marriage Pledge. The only candidate who hasn’t signed, Ron Paul, hasn’t won a thing and finished in last place in Florida."

This is Romney’s second state win, having previously won in New Hampshire. Rick Santorum won the Iowa caucuses and Newt Gingrich won in South Carolina. All three of the leading candidates for the GOP nomination have signed NOM's Marriage Pledge, which commits signatories, if elected, to taking specific steps toward preserving the institution of marriage as the union between one man and one woman. Rep. Ron Paul is the only remaining Republican presidential candidate not to have signed the pledge, and he is not considered to have any realistic chance of becoming the Republican nominee.

“Ron Paul and his radical views on marriage were thoroughly repudiated in Florida, where he is barely receiving 7% of the vote,” Brown said.

“Preserving marriage has become an important issue in the race, and Ron Paul is simply wrong on marriage. We will continue to let voters know where the candidates stand on marriage. “


To schedule an interview with Brian Brown, President of the National Organization for Marriage, please contact Elizabeth Ray (x130) or Anath Hartmann at 703-683-5004.

Gay Marriage...In Florida!?

Gay Marriage...In Florida!?

Dear Marriage Supporter,

The same-sex marriage movement is not about "live-and-let-live."

It is about radically redefining marriage for everyone, whether you like it or not—yes, even in the Sunshine state.

As you read this, there is a bill in the United States Senate, advanced by Senator Diane Feinstein of California, to repeal the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). DOMA is the only federal law protecting Florida's 2008 state constitutional amendment from outside legal challenges.

This is the same-sex marriage lobby's preferred strategy. They don't want to let the people vote. They're reluctant to trust legislators, who can be influenced by their constituents.

They want a single person, or a small panel of people, to decide for you what is "equitable" and what you are allowed to believe without repercussion.

We cannot allow this to happen.

That is why defending DOMA at the federal level and assisting with the various federal lawsuits that will make their way up to the Supreme Court in 2012 is a prominent part of NOM's strategic battle plan to protect marriage—and why it is critical for you, as a resident of Florida, to get engaged in the fight.

Will you make one urgent gift to NOM right now to ensure we have the funds necessary to protect marriage in Florida and in all 50 states?

Donate Now

Anything you can afford to donate is important, because with so many fights all over America, our resources will be stretched thin all year.

Today is the primary in Florida, a key stage in the race for the White House. Congress is up for grabs, we're waging a legislative battle in Washington, D.C. to stop DOMA from being repealed, and we have legal cases going all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court.

And on top of all that, we're also fighting in a dozen other states:

  • Working to repeal same-sex marriage laws in Iowa, New Hampshire, and New York (in fact, there will be a vote very soon in the New Hampshire legislature to restore traditional marriage!);
  • Protecting marriage in states where it is under fire (Rhode Island, Washington, New Jersey, Maryland);
  • Passing marriage protection amendments in key states (including Minnesota, among others).

In the past few weeks, threats to marriage and religious liberty have also popped up in Virginia and Illinois, and we may need additional funds to fight in those large states as well.

The bottom line: 2012 will either be the year when traditional marriage makes a comeback...

...or it will be the year when the same-sex marriage lobbyists knock the doors down and begin their assault on marriage in all 50 states.

As always, the success of our campaign depends on you, marriage supporter.

So please, to protect marriage in Florida and all across America throughout 2012, make one urgent financial gift today.

Donate Now

Thank you in advance, and God bless you.

Florida Christian Family Coalition: Reclaim Religious Equality!

Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse wants to "take back the rainbow." The Florida Christian Family Coalition is taking back the words "equality", "human rights" and "social justice":

Today, the Christian Family Coalition, (CFC), Florida's tireless human rights and social justice organization announced its legislative priorities for the upcoming 2012 statewide legislative session in Tallahassee.

"During the 2012 statewide legislative session our priorities include restoring religious equality in our schools and women's rights.

Currently, children of faith in Florida are not allowed to express their beliefs in school during non-compulsory events, at a time where all forms of public expression are tolerated and even celebrated, religious speech should be no exception, this form of discrimination is not acceptable.

This is a bipartisan issue and a matter of basic fairness for all children of faith, that is why we applaud Democratic State Senator Gary Siplin and Republican State Representative Charles Van Zant for courageously filing Senate Bill 98 and House Bill 317, respectively, to restore religious equality in our schools."

Anti-DOMA Republican Ros-Lehtinen Endorses Mitt Romney

The Washington Blade (a gay newspaper):

A Republican U.S. House member known for holding the most pro-LGBT views in her caucus has endorsed former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney in his bid for president.

Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.), who also serves as chair of the House Foreign Relations Committee, announced her support for Romney in a statement on Tuesday that also criticized President Obama.

... In September, she became the first Republican to co-sponsor legislation to repeal the Defense of Marriage Act...

... In a statement, Romney thanked Ros-Lehtinen and the Diaz-Balart brothers for supporting his campaign.

“I am proud to be working with Ileana, Mario, and Lincoln,” Romney said. “They’re conservative leaders who will help me articulate my vision to make America more prosperous at home and respected throughout the world.”

Anti-DOMA Rep. Ros Lehtinen Already Facing Primary Challengers

Florida press reports that the 2012 election season is already underway:

Key Largo maintenance and construction worker Jose Peixoto, who ran unsuccessfully for the Mosquito Control Board in 2010, looks to oust U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros Lehtinen, a veteran congresswoman who chairs the powerful House Foreign Affairs Committee.

Ros Lehtinen, a Republican who lives in Miami but represents the Keys as part of District 18, has been in Congress since 1990. Peixoto, no party affiliation, says that's too long for anyone to serve.

Also filing in this race is Miami Republican Marcus Rivchin Jr.

Florida Columnist Calls 60 Percent of Florida Voters "Haters"?

In 2008, more than 60 percent of Florida voters approved a state marriage amendment, protecting marriage as the union of husband and wife. Are they all haters? Gary Stein a columnist at the Sun-Sentinel, apparently can't resist flinging the insult.

We work hard to stay on the civil side of civil discourse but mainstream pro-gay marriage columnists like Gary don't feel the same obligation, apparently.

We suspect that's one reason regular voters are dubious about gay marriage. Gary writes:

Despite what the hatemongers would have you believe, the nation hasn't vaporized in a ball of fire or been overcome by Satan, despite the trend toward equality for gays.

There are still haters out there, but most people realize that not only are gay rights a matter of basic fairness, but it's almost insulting to think we need something called a Defense of Marriage Act in 2011. The haters may think gays are a threat to marriage, but maybe they should think about the 50 percent of straight marriages that end in divorce. That's your real threat to marriage.

So yes, the world is quickly passing by the haters who can't handle change.

And you have to wonder, if the haters had been around in the mid-1800s, if we would still be trying to abolish slavery today.

Ros-Lehtinen’s Constituents Unhappy With Her Flip-Flop on Marriage

The Miami Herald:

[Anthony Verdugo, executive director of the Christian Family Coalition in Miami-Dade County] said Ros-Lehtinen’s conservative constituents are not happy. “When they voted for Ros-Lehtinen, this isn’t what they signed up for,” he said.

... Ros-Lehtinen was among 342 “yes” votes for the Defense of Marriage Act in 1996. Now, she has become the 124th co-sponsor of the bill to repeal it.

... During the summer of 2008, Ros-Lehtinen told Miami gay Republicans that she opposed Florida’s Amendment 2, which passed the following November and banned gay marriages, civil unions and state-recognized domestic partnerships.

Later, she learned that daughter Amanda had come out as a transgender man named Rodrigo.

Related on NOM blog: Will Pro-Gay Marriage Millionaires Divide and Conquer the GOP?

Ros-Lehtinen Constituents Not Happy: She Ran as DOMA Supporter, Then Flip-Flopped

The Miami Herald:

A Christian group has chastised U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, R-Miami, as “an arrogant, anti-family, homosexualist extremist” for becoming the first Republican in Congress to co-sponsor legislation to repeal the federal ban on gay marriage.

“We’re putting her and all other Republicans on notice that if they’re going to represent themselves as Republicans, they’ve got to respect the party platform,” said Anthony Verdugo, executive director of the Christian Family Coalition in Miami-Dade County.

... Verdugo said Ros-Lehtinen’s conservative constituents are not happy. “When they voted for Ros-Lehtinen, this isn’t what they signed up for,” he said.

Ros-Lehtinen was among 342 “yes” votes for the Defense of Marriage Act in 1996. Now, she has become the 124th co-sponsor of the bill to repeal it.

Christian Family Coalition: Ros-Lehtinen Betrayed Her Constituents on Marriage

Strong words from the Christian Family Coalition, which is located in the congresswoman's district:

Florida Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R) has embarrassed and ridiculed herself by becoming the first Republican to co-sponsor on a deceptive bill to overturn the bipartisan Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). This new fraudulent legislation seeks to overturn the will of the people in Florida and all across America, by imposing so-called "homosexual marriage" on all fifty (50) states.

No doubt, when voters elected Congresswoman Lehtinen, this was not a part of her "agenda", she has lied to and misled her own constituents, donors and volunteers by kowtowing to an extremist agenda. As we go forward there is little doubt that the "incentives," being used to sway votes, will be exposed. This much we do know, in November, 2008, 62% of Florida voters, including in her own Congressional district, voted to amend the state constitution to protect and define marriage and all of its benefits as the union of one man, one woman, and there is not a single thing Congresswoman Lehtinen can do about that, except to obey the law!

Related: Will Pro-Gay Marriage Millionaires Divide and Conquer the GOP?