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Tampa Church Abruptly Cancels Man's Funeral After Finding Out He's Gay and Has a Husband: VIDEO

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A Tampa-area family struggling with the loss of a loved one was forced to relocate funeral services for the deceased after the pastor at the church where the service was scheduled to be held found out the man was gay.

WFLA reports:

Julie Atwood was standing at her son's casket when the phone rang. The church where her son's funeral was scheduled to be held the next day decided to abruptly cancel the service, after the pastor learned the deceased was gay and his obituary listed a surviving "husband."

Atwood said she was told it would be "blasphemous" to hold the services at the church because her son, Julion Evans, 42, was gay.

"It was devastating," she said. "I did feel like he was being denied the dignity of death."

Screen Shot 2014-08-08 at 10.04.42 AMEvans' husband, Kendall Capers [right], says the pair were partners for 17 years and married last year in Maryland. Evans died at home after a 4-year battle with a rare illness called Amyloidosis, which destroys organs in the body.

Capers said that because of the abrupt cancellation, some mourners were not notified of the late relocation and missed the funeral. 

"This is 2014, this is not the 60s or the 70s,” Capers said. “So at the end of the day I just want his wrong-doing to be exposed.”

Watch a WFLA report on the story, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Charlie Crist: Florida Governor and Attorney General Don't Have to Defend Gay Marriage Ban: VIDEO

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In an interview with the Miami Herald, Charlie Crist says Republican Governor Rick Scott and Attorney General Pam Bondi do not have to defend the state's ban on same-sex marriage in court and can make the choice to "make sure new and better things happen in Florida." 

Crist, who as Republican governor supported the ban when it was passed by Florida voters back in 2008, is now running as a pro-equality Democrat in this year's gubernatorial race. 

Watch the video, AFTER THE JUMP...

[via Good As You]

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Fourth Florida Judge Declares State's Gay Marriage Ban Unconstitutional

FloridaA judge in south Florida has become the fourth in recent week's to strike down the state's ban on gay marriage, in an inheritance case, Reuters reports:

Frank Bangor, who lived in Pennsylvania before his death in March, left his estate to the man that he married in Delaware. This included property in south Florida's Palm Beach County.

In finding the same-sex marriage ban unconstitutional, Circuit Court Judge Diana Lewis limited her ruling to the specific circumstances involved in the probate case.

The ruling did not include an order for Palm Beach County officials to begin issuing marriage licenses, according to Equality Florida, a gay rights advocacy organization.


BREAKING: Judge Rules Florida Must Recognize Out-of-State Gay Marriages

FloridaA third Florida judge has just struck down the state's ban on same-sex marriage, ruling that the state must also recognize all legal, out-of-state marriages, Freedom to Marry reports:

The ruling in today's case, from Broward County Circuit Judge Dale Cohen, is the third marriage ruling in three weeks, following a July 17 ruling in Monroe County's Huntsman v. Heavilinand July 25's ruling in Miami-Dade County's Pareto v. Ruvin. In all 3 cases, judges ruled that banning same-sex couples from marrying is unconstitutional. All three rulings are stayed, and the two previous rulings have been appealed by Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi. 

For now, today's decision only applies to Broward County. The next step for the Miami-Dade and Monroe County decisions is review by Florida's 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals. Last week, the plaintiffs in both cases moved to consolidate their cases and filed a motion seeking review directly by the Florida Supreme Court. 

Equality Florida adds:

This marks the third time in the past few weeks that a Republican-appointed judge in Florida has ruled on the side of marriage equality.

“Every win in court brings us closer than we’ve ever been to the freedom to marry in Florida,” said Nadine Smith, CEO of Equality Florida.  "We look forward to the day when all loving, committed couples and their families enjoy the same protections, opportunities and responsibilities of marriage under the law.  Every passing day inflicts real hardships on families who are denied the legal protection and dignity that marriage equality provides."

The lawsuit was filed by Heather Brassner, who had entered into a civil union in Vermont and is seeking a divorce in Florida.  The judge indicated that “He was not prepared to grant the divorce without addressing the constitutionality of the same-sex marriage ban — and the same-sex marriage recognition ban,” according to Nancy Brodzki, Brassner’s attorney.  Brodzki then filed a motion for the judge to rule on Florida’s constitutional ban.


Florida Gay Resort Parliament House Faces Closure On 40th Anniversary: VIDEO

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Florida gay resort and entertainment complex Parliament House is facing closure, reports the Orlando Sentinel.

Approaching its 40th anniversary, Parliament House filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy last week.

The property includes a 112-room hotel, seven bars, a swimming pool and an entertainment complex with dance floor and outdoor stage.

According to bankruptcy attorney Scott Shuker, the Orlando complex has been locked into a foreclosure and refinancing batter since it defaulted on loans during the recession in 2009.

Parliament House last went into receivership and faced foreclosure in 2010.

Watch drag queen Nina Flowers at Parliament House last May, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Man Stabbed By Man He Was Having Sex With In Florida Cemetery: VIDEO

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This is not your True Blood recap, but it may sound like it.

After meeting in a Tallahassee, Florida cemetery at 11:00 at night for a sexual rendezvous, a man was stabbed five times by his would-be lover. WXTL reports that the encounter, which took place on June 24, took a bad turn as soon as the assailant mentioned the victim’s ex-boyfriend: 

The victim said it was during "sexual activity" that Johnson mentioned the victim's ex-boyfriend and then started stabbing him.

Court records show that Johnson told the victim "no one would have to worry" about him anymore.

Law enforcement says the victim was able to kick Johnson out of the car and lock the doors. However, Johnson attempted to get back into the car by gaining access through a slightly open window, the victim told police.

The victim was able to escape and drive off, crashing through the cemetery's fence at the intersection of 4th Ave. and Martin Luther King Blvd.

The victim was taken to the hospital for treatment of his wounds. According to the police report, there were a total of five stab wound; three to chest and one in each arm.

The victim required surgery for his wounds as he suffered internal injuries as a result of the stabbing, mainly a punctured lung and lacerated liver. The assailant, 18-year-old Devante L. Johnson, was later arrested for attempted murder.

Watch a news clip on the harrowing night at the cemetery, AFTER  THE JUMP…

Murder

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