Florida trying to cash in on NY marriage law

Posted on 22 Jul 2011 at 11:11am

South Florida, and especially Fort Lauderdale, is expecting a gay honeymoon boom with the beginning of same-sex marriage in New York, according to the South Florida Sun Sentinel.

The Fort Lauderdale Chamber of Commerce is running a contest and winners will get a five-night stay at the Royal Palms Resort & Spa or the Atlantic Resort & Spa.

Very nice. Glad Florida wants the gay bucks. But why would a New York couple celebrating their wedding — and new rights — honeymoon in Florida?

After a hard-fought battle to win the right to marry, then another month-long wait to marry, then after entering their names in a lottery to find out how soon they can get one of those precious marriage certificates — why would a couple leave a place where they finally have gotten their rights and travel somewhere that offers them no rights just a few hours later?

Florida has been at the forefront of denying same-sex couples the right to adopt. While many other states make two-parent adoptions difficult, Florida was the only one with an outright ban. For years, Florida even fought the adoption of five children with HIV by a gay couple who cared for them. Five children that no one else wanted. Five children who would have been dead if it wasn’t for that couple.

And Miami was the first city in the country to rescind a gay rights ordinance with a vote of hate. Yes, I’m going back quite a few years to the old Anita Bryant days. But Miami’s never restored all the rights they originally offered.

And how can we forget the lesbian couple on a cruise. One had a heart attack and was rushed to the hospital. The caring South Florida hospital staff kept the family from seeing their loved one until after she died. I’m sure a New York wedding license would have made a big difference to the bigots who kept them apart.

So without offering any rights whatsoever, Florida expects same-sex couples who have finally earned the rights that are offered by New York State to leave the state a few hours later and go somewhere to lose their rights again. How is that a celebration of their marriage?

One of the state’s senators even voted against the federal hate crimes law. He thinks it’s OK to kill gay people.

So come on down to Florida — right now, before you get used to having equal rights.

Hopefully gay-friendly Dallas will have the good sense not to try to cash in on this one. While the Visitor’s Bureau is offering a trip to Dallas for Pride, they haven’t had the nerve to offer a honeymoon package.

Come to Dallas for Pride. It’s a fun weekend. However, don’t come to Dallas to celebrate your new rights. Texas doesn’t recognize them.

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