Amendment furthering ban on gay marriage passes

With this year’s election finally over, Floridians have voted on Amendment 2, which reinforces the ban on same-sex marriages. The amendment passed with more than 60 percent of the state’s vote.  

USF students had mixed reactions.

Cassandra Karlsberg-Gerstein, a member of PRIDE at USF, called the description and wording of the amendment “misleading.”

“Voters have to go in knowing a lot about the issue to understand what they are voting for,” she said.

Amanda Lyon, a senior music studies major, voted no on Amendment 2.

“Legally taking someone’s rights to see someone they love is one of the cruelest things anyone could ever do,” she said.

D.J. Howard, a sophomore international business major, voted yes on Amendment 2 for different ideological reasons.

“Because of my religious beliefs and the Bible, I think marriage should be between a man and a woman,” he said.

According to the Florida Department of State Division of Elections, 62.2 percent of Florida voters voted yes on Amendment 2, with 37.8 percent voting no.

Here’s how the other amendments fared:

Amendment 1 — Alien Property Rights
The proposed state constitutional amendment provided equal property rights for all residents, including aliens not eligible for citizenship, but it failed. The proposed law would have changed language in the state constitution barring the ownership of land by aliens.     About 52 percent of Florida voters voted no on Amendment 1 and 47.8 percent voted yes.

Amendment 3 — Property Tax Exemptions
More than 60 percent of Florida homeowners supported Amendment 3, which bars property-tax increases for residents who add improvements to make their homes safer from hurricanes and other natural disasters.

60.3 percent of Florida voters voted yes on Amendment 3, with 39.7 percent voting no.

Amendment 4 — Real Property Exemptions
About 68.3 percent of Florida voters voted yes on Amendment 4, allowing conserved land to be exempt from property taxes.

Amendment 6 — Water Access Exemptions
Amendment 6, which reduces property taxes on some working waterfront properties, won 70.4 percent of the vote. The amendment will allow many properties, like bait shops and small hotels, to be taxed for their current proposes, rather than the highest potential value of the property. Supporters of the amendment said high property taxes prompted small-business owners to sell out to big-time developers.

Amendment 8 — Community Colleges
More than half of Floridians shot down an amendment that would have allowed counties to issue a local option five-year sales tax for community colleges. Approximately 43 percent supported the amendment.

Freshman nursing major Melissa Closey voted yes on Amendment 8 because she thinks schools need funding.

Freshman music education major Anthony Collins voted no.

“I think the state should continue funding schooling.  If the amendment passes, local governments set the tax,” he said.  “So it would be more expensive in some areas of the state than others.”