Florida Amendment 2

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Florida Amendment 2 is an amendment made to the Constitution of Florida in 2008. It added Article I, Section 27 to the constitution, which defines marriage as a union only between one man and one woman, and thus bans the creation of similar unions, such as civil unions or same-sex marriage.


Amendment 2 added Article I Section 27 of the Florida constitution. This states:

Inasmuch as marriage is the legal union of only one man and one woman as husband and wife, no other legal union that is treated as marriage or the substantial equivalent thereof shall be valid or recognized.[1]

The initiative[edit]

The amendment was proposed by means of the initiative process, and went before the voters of Florida in a referendum held on November 4, 2008. Similar proposals were put to a vote at the same time in Arizona (Proposition 102) and California (Proposition 8).

Proposed constitutional amendments in Florida require 611,009 signatures, including at least 8% of voters in the last presidential election and at least 8% of voters in each congressional district of Florida. The initiative was certified with 649,346 signatures and was placed on the ballot on February 2008.[2] 60% of voters were required to pass the amendment in Florida.

A Quinnipiac University Polling Institute poll on September 8, 2008 showed that 55% favored the proposed amendment, while 41% oppose it.[3] "Florida and Arizona joined 27 other states that previously approved such amendments."[4]

The amendment was ultimately passed by a margin of 61.9% in favor and 38.1% opposed.[5] In the Florida 2008 election, Barack Obama voters as a whole voted 57% against Amendment 2 while John McCain voters voted 81% in favor of the legislation. Republican Governor Charlie Crist publicly supported Amendment 2.[6]

Election results by county.
  Less than 50% voted for Amendment 2
  Less than 60% voted for Amendment 2
  More than 60% voted for Amendment 2
  More than 70% voted for Amendment 2
  More than 80% voted for Amendment 2
Amendment 2[7]
Choice Votes  %
Referendum passed Yes 4,890,883 61.92%
No 3,008,026 38.08%
Valid votes 7,898,909 93.41%
Invalid or blank votes 557,420 6.59%
Total votes 8,456,329 100.00%

Comparison to Proposition 8[edit]

A similar and more widely controversial ballot initiative in California, Proposition 8, was titled "ELIMINATES RIGHT OF SAME–SEX COUPLES TO MARRY. INITIATIVE CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT" and summarized accordingly. This description differed from the description of Florida's Amendment 2 in that it referred to a right being removed.[8]

Another difference between Amendment 2 and Proposition 8 was that the latter did not render domestic partnerships unlawful in California,[9] while the text of Amendment 2 made the recognition of civil unions—or other marriage-like relationships for same-sex couples—unlawful in Florida.[10]

Effect of education[edit]

A study was done to see the effect of education on the votes.[11] Controlling for other socioeconomic and political factors, for each additional 1 percent of a county’s population with a bachelor of arts degree, the study concluded that there was nearly an equal 1 percent decrease in support for Amendment 2. By comparison, every 1 percent increase in a county’s black population led to only two-tenths of a percentage point increase in support for Amendment 2. According to one of the study's authors, "Education is so important because it increases exposure to those who are different. Studies show very clearly that the more educated people are the more tolerant they are of differences.”

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Initiative Information - Florida Marriage Protection Amendment". Florida Department of State, Division of Elections. February 6, 2005. Retrieved 2008-11-05. 
  2. ^ "Gay marriage ban gets on ballots". International Herald-Tribune. 2008-02-02. Retrieved 2008-09-14. 
  3. ^ "Voters Back Ban On Gay Marriage, But Short Of 60%". Quinnipiac University. 2008-09-08. Retrieved 2008-09-14. 
  4. ^ Gay-marriage bans pass in Florida, Arizona. Retrieved November 5, 2008
  5. ^ Brunn, et al, eds., Stanley D. (2011). Atlas of the 2008 Elections. Rowman & Littlefield. p. 258. 
  6. ^ "Amendment 2 - Not A Black Thing". Retrieved 2008-11-25. 
  7. ^ "November 4, 2008 General Election". Florida Division of Elections. 2009-04-30. 
  8. ^ "Proposition 8 Title and Summary". Retrieved 2008-11-25. [dead link]
  9. ^ http://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2008/11/06/18549382.php
  10. ^ "Initiative Information - Florida Marriage Protection Amendment". Florida Department of State, Division of Elections. February 6, 2005. Retrieved 2008-11-05. 
  11. ^ "Education played bigger role than race in approving gay marriage ban". Retrieved 2009-09-06. 

External links[edit]