John Stemberger, executive director of
the Christian Family Coalition of Florida, says he's prepared to lay
down his life fighting against allowing gay and lesbian couples in
Florida to marry.
Stemberger and his group led the 2008
campaign to amend the Florida Constitution to ban same-sex marriage.
On Thursday, Monroe County Circuit
Judge Luis Garcia declared the marriage ban unconstitutional and
ordered Monroe County Clerk Amy Heavilin to begin issuing marriage
licenses to gay couples on Tuesday, July 22. Florida Attorney
General Pam Bondi immediately filed a notice of appeal, placing the
ruling on hold.
judge strikes down state's gay marriage ban.)
Speaking to the Miami
Herald, Stemberger called Garcia's ruling “corrupt” and a
“judicial lynching of the nearly 8 million Florida voters” who
approved the ban.
“This is an issue worth dying for,”
he told the paper. “Every domestic partnership, every single civil
union, every couple that cohabitates, these arrangements dilute and
“This is a very sad day for
Floridians,” he added. “This is an entirely illegitimate
process. The judge had no legal authority in this decision.”
In a YouTube.com
video, Stemberger gave his opinion of the case.
“He claimed in his decision that you
and I and others like us are animated by animus, which is really
hatred, which nothing could be further from the truth,” he said.
“This does not phase us at all. We
are going to double and triple our efforts to define and strengthen
marriage in Florida. You can't have a civil society without natural
marriage. … All it means is we're going to fight harder, stronger,
faster to defend God's design for marriage, because you can't have
civilization without it,” he added.
Stemberger launched Trail Life USA
after leading an unsuccessfully lobbying effort to keep a ban on
openly gay youth in the Boy Scouts of America (BSA).