Broward News

Florida "Personhood" Referendum Petition Has Fewer Signatures Than Medical Marijuana

Despite the dismal number of signatures collected to put a medical marijuana referendum on Florida ballots next year, the chance that Floridians will be voting on a "personhood" amendment -- like the one that failed in Mississippi last night -- is even lower.

The leader of the Florida movement for the amendment says his group has collected around 20,000 signatures -- below the near 30,000 the medical weed folks have collected and well below the 676,811 needed to show up on ballots in the state.

The actual text of Florida's amendment says, "The words 'person' and 'natural person' apply to all human beings, irrespective of age, race, health, function, condition of physical and/or mental dependency and/or disability, or method of reproduction, from the beginning of the biological development of that human being."

Traditionally, opponents to such an amendment -- like Planned Parenthood -- have said it doesn't just ban abortion but also effectively bans methods of birth control. Some say such an amendment is even more far-reaching than that.

Aside from the technical aspects of what exactly the law does, we're not sure if PersonhoodFL is aware that its 20,000-ish signatures are going to be flushed down the toilet soon.

PersonhoodFL says it's campaigning to make it on the ballot in 2014, so with the recent changes to initiative petition laws -- like the one that says signatures are valid for only two years -- that means they get to start all over again.

It's really not a big difference between needing 656,811 and needing 676,811, but whatever, dude.

Fun fact: PersonhoodFL has a strange fascination with equating abortion and slavery.

There's this one:

In 1808 the window of grace slammed shut and it took bloodshed and hundreds of thousands of lives before America finally birthed the Emancipation Proclamation and recognized the personhood of African Americans. A window of grace is before us again. If we do not whole-heartedly work to establish personhood with all our hearts, our minds, our souls and our strength, our compromise, like the compromise at the signing of the Declaration of Independence, will result not in the possibility of a wider door in the future, but a slamming shut on God's grace yet again.

And this one:

It has been proven that We the People of the United States of America caused slavery to be abolished and women to not be regarded as mere property under the law of the land. I look forward to the day of a New Florida that loves and respects all human life.

It's a little more clear from Pastor Bryan Longsworth:

Abortion kills innocent children, and God hates the hands that shed innocent blood! Proverbs 6:16-19. We live in Florida. We're not going to move so that you can continue to kill innocent baby girls and boys in our state. We will end abortion and protect all innocent human life! You can oppose us if you like, but you will be remembered in history in the same light as those who supported slavery and the Nazi holocaust.

Enough of that. Nothing has a chance of happening until 2014.

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Matthew Hendley
Contact: Matthew Hendley