Florida Baptists Pass ‘State Marriage Amendment’ Bill

Members of the 150 year-old Florida (Southern) Baptist Convention (FBC) unanimously voted to support an amendment banning same-sex “marriages” in the state, during the FBC’s annual meeting in Jacksonville, Florida, on Tuesday, Nov. 9, 2004.

The 2,000 messengers of the 1-million member convention voted for the motion calling for a “state marriage amendment” to be placed on the state ballot that would define the marriage between one man and one woman as the “God-ordained building block of the family…and civil society.”

"I move that in this historical 150th anniversary meeting of the Florida Baptist State Convention, that we lovingly, yet with passion and conviction, lead the way and go on record as supporting a statewide constitutional amendment that defines marriage as the union between a man and a woman and is the God-ordained building block of the family and the bedrock of civil society,” the amendment, presented by the Rev. Jay Davis of the First Baptist Church at the Mall in Lakeland, read.

“We are calling upon our legislators and the citizens of the state of Florida to begin the process of such as constitutional amendment,” the resolution continued. “We further call upon our United States Representatives and Senators from Florida to support a federal marriage amendment."

According to Barbara Denman, a spokesperson for the FBC, Tuesday’s vote was prompted by the passage of similar marriage amendments in 11 states during the Nov. 2 election.

"Baptists have been energized since the election to be more vocal about their conservatism," Denman said.

Meanwhile, from Tallahassee, Florida Governor Jeb Bush said he may support such an amendment should it be necessary to protect traditional marriage.

"If there is a threat that gay marriage would be accepted in our state, then I'd be supportive of [a constitutional ban]," Bush said.

However, Bush added that the amendment might not be necessary unless a judge overturns the state’s Defense of Marriage Act of 1997.