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Florida DMV Threatens To Revoke Gay Couple's Driver Licenses If They Don't Change Names - VIDEO


The state of Florida is threatening to revoke a same-sex couple's driver licenses because they obtained them using an out-of-state marriage certificate.

Daniel [left] and Scott Wall-Desousa, of Palm Bay, Florida, have been together for 10 years and were married in New York City. 

Earlier this year, both men attempted to get their hyphenated, married name — which appears on their Social Security cards — on their Florida driver licenses.

Daniel Wall-Desousa had no trouble, but Scott was rejected at a different DMV office — based on Florida's constitutional amendment prohibiting recognition of same-sex marriages from out of state, according to a report from WFTV Channel 9.

After an extended back-and-forth with state officials, Scott went to a different DMV office and was able to obtain a license with his married name. The couple then appeared on WFTV, which reported they were one of the first couples in Florida to change their name thorugh an out-of-state same-sex marriage.

However, state officials apparently took notice, and within days of the report airing, the Wall-Desousas received a letter saying their driver licenses will be revoked unless they obtain new ones in their previous names, WFTV reports.

"It informs me and notifies me that my driving privileges will be canceled indefinitely as of Nov. 22," Daniel Wall-Desousa said of the letter.

The couple now says they intend to file a lawsuit. Several state and federal judges in Florida have struck down the state's marriage amendment as unconsitutinal, but those decisions have been stayed pending appeals by Republican Attorney General Pam Bondi.

In Texas earlier this year, a woman was similarly denied a driver license when she tried to obtain one using an out-of-state same-sex marriage certificate. But the woman, Connie Wilson, was later able to obatin a license with her married name using a US passport. 

No word on whether Texas plans to try to revoke Wilson's license.

Watch WFTV's initial report, AFTER THE JUMP ...

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WATCH: Massive Hammerhead Shark Stalks Kayakers for 2 Miles Off South Florida Coast


In an impressive display of not freaking out and/or becoming paralyzed by fear, Palm Beach kayakers Mark Naumovitz and Brian Nelli managed to catch this incredible (read: terrifying) footage of a 13-foot hammerhead shark stalking their boats for two whole miles off the South Florida coast. 

Nelli also spoke with local CBS station WPEC about the close encounter with the unexpected visitor:

"We figured he was more inquisitive to see what we were...he gave us a few bumps to check us out."

Check out the footage and interview, AFTER THE JUMP...


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Federal Judge Won't Lift Stay On Ruling That Struck Down Florida's Gay Marriage Ban

6a00d8341c730253ef01b8d062de3d970c-800wiIn August, Judge Robert Hinkle became the first federal judge to rule Flordia's voter-approved ban on same-sex marriage unconstitutional. However, Hinkle also issued a stay of his ruling, preventing it from going into effect. Judge Hinkle has today announced that he will not lift his stay before it is set to expire on January 5. The AP reports:

Attorney General Pam Bondi is seeking a review of the decision by the Atlanta-based 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. Gay marriage proponents had asked Hinkle to lift the stay, which would have allowed gay marriages to begin despite the appeal.

"This would leave the 11th Circuit insufficient time to make a considered judgment on whether the stay should remain in place and thus would be inconsistent with the public interest in implementing just once the constitutional decision on same-sex marriage in Florida," Hinkle wrote. [...]

Hinkle also denied Bondi's request to leave the stay in place as long as the 11th Circuit is considering Florida's appeal, setting instead the January deadline. The judge said that would mean unnecessary delay, especially considering "the unbroken line of circuit decisions striking down bans on same-sex marriage."

"No circuit that has decided the same-sex marriage issue on the merits has stayed its ruling," the judge added.

Rick Scott Defeats Charlie Crist in Florida Gubernatorial Race

6a00d8341c730253ef0147e1c6faeb970b-800wiFormer Republican Governor Charlie Crist, who was seeking Florida's top office again, this time as a Democrat, lost to incumbent Republican Rick Scott yesterday. The New York Times reports: 

Despite Mr. Scott’s lack of popularity among voters, his victory was a testament, in large part, to an aggressive campaign that highlighted Florida’s economic turnaround during his tenure while also pummeling Mr. Crist with negative advertisements.

His win, although slight, came with the Florida Republican establishment’s full support, something he did not enjoy in 2010 when he beat out Bill McCollum, the party favorite, in the primary.

Still, Mr. Scott failed to capture a majority of voters, which may complicate his efforts to lead a politically mixed state in his second term.

Mr. Crist was unable to overcome months of attack ads, which constantly referred to him as a “flip-flopper” for switching his party affiliation from Republican to Democrat.

Scott's victory means that the fate of gay marriage in the Sunshine State continues to be uncertain, as Scott has made it clear he intends to leave the question of how to handle legal challenges to state Attorney General Pam Bondi, who for her part has been adamant about defending the ban. Scott has meanwhile been unswayed by calls (including one made by Crist) for him to stop defending the anti-equality law that voters passed in 2008. 

Though now a proponent of marriage equality, in 2006 Crist signed a petition supporting a state-wide constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage. 

Heartbreaking Video of Florida Widower Calling Out Governor Scott On Marriage: WATCH


Freedom to Marry has posted a new video that highlights just how important time can be in the fight for marriage equality. The video is a testimonial from Jorge Goytizolo of Ft. Lauderdale, Florida who shares his story of losing his husband Phillip Parrish in May to brain cancer and having to raise their two children without him all while the state refuses to recognize him as Parrish's spouse. Florida currently has a ban on same-sex marriage in place, though it is being challenged in the courts. 

Addressing Florida Governor Rick Scott, Goytizolo implores, "I know it is too late for me - but I ask Governor Scott to lift the ban on same-sex marriage so other couples can not go through the same worries I am going through at this time. Please, let them marry."

Many others have called on Governor Scott to stop defending the state's marriage ban including DOMA plaintiff Edie Windsor and Florida newsman Michael Putney, to name only a couple. Flordia's Attorney General Pam Bondi continues to defend the ban while Scott pretends that the decision on whether to defend the ban is up to Bondi and Bondi alone.

Watch the heartwrenching video, AFTER THE JUMP...


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Edie Windsor Urges Florida Governor Rick Scott to Stop Fighting Gay Marriage - AUDIO


Edie Windsor has a message for slimy Florida Governor Rick Scott, who continues to hide his fight against marriage equality behind Attorney General Pam Bondi.


Continue reading "Edie Windsor Urges Florida Governor Rick Scott to Stop Fighting Gay Marriage - AUDIO" »


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