While it was not the focal point of this week's debate between President Barack Obama and Gov. Mitt Romney, the future implementation "Obamacare" is still on the minds of voters throughout the U.S. and here in St. Pete.
On Saturday, more than a hundred protesters are expected to protest the Obama's Affordable Care Act at a Stand up for Religious Freedom rally at the southwest corner of 4th Street North and 62nd Avenue N.
The group has taken to 4th Street multiple times already this year to protest the Health and Human Services mandate, but this time it will be after the Supreme Court held up the individual mandate earlier this summer.
Guest speakers for Saturday's rally include:
- Larry Ahern, State Representative
- Jeff Brandes, State Senate
- Dr. David McKalip, St. Pete city council candidate
- Rev Glenn Pav, AM1110 WTIS radio
In June event organizer Michael Brennan said Obamacare is an attack on religious freedom.
"I'm here to support the 1st Amendment," Brennan said at the June rally. "It says our government will not get in the way of religious freedom.
"The problem with the Health and Human Services Mandate, it opposes more than the Catholic Church but other Christian communities as well," Brennan added. "Abortions, sterilization, and of course, that all important pill that we will have to be freely provided for all services aligned with churches."
Voter Stand Up Rally released a statement about Saturday's event, which takes place from 11:30 a.m. - 3 p.m.
"The Voter Stand Up Rally in St Petersburg will oppose the attack on freedom by 'central planners' Kathleen Sebelius via Obamacare. The primary objective of the 'central planners' is to establish a secular ideology in the form of a state religion to usurp the free exercise of our religious rights."
... We are dedicated to oppose the Health and Human Services Administration mandates on Faith Based charities and hospitals. These mandates will cost millions in penalties to be collected by the IRS. The First Amendment protecting religious freedom is at risk. Faith based good works may be bankrupted by 'Central Planners' of Health and Human Services."
Also on Saturday, at the same time as the Stand up for Religious Freedom Rally, there will be a rally against Amendment 6 at Jannus Live. Amedment 6, if approved, would make the ban on federal funds for abortions part of the Florida Constitution.
Speakers at the GOTV Unplugged rally included activist and author Gloria Steinem, Rep. Kathy Castor, State House Rep. Rick Kriseman and U.S. Rep. candidate Jessica Ehrlich.