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Florida Catholic Bishops: Marriage Equality Threatens Religious Liberty - VIDEO

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Catholic bishops in Florida say the decision to overturn the ban on same-sex marriage in the state is a threat to religious freedom, reports Pink News.

Yesterday, Miami-Dade County judge Sarah Zabel lifted the stay on her July ruling striking down the state's ban on same-sex marriage. Following her decision, Zabel proceeded to marry two of the gay couples who served as plaintiffs in the case.

In a statement following the ruling the bishops said marriage equality “threatens both religious liberty and the freedom of individuals to conscientiously object.”

Once again attacking gay parents, the statement reads in part:

“The conjugal nature of a marriage between a man and a woman has provided for millennia the basis for norms of marital exclusivity and permanence that made possible stable families necessary for human flourishing.

“[Marriage equality] advances the notion that marriage is only about the affective gratification of consenting adults. Such a redefinition of marriage does nothing to safeguard a child’s right to a mother and father and to be raised in a stable family where his or her development and well-being is served to the greatest extent possible.”

Watch the emotional courtroom reaction to Zabel lifting the stay, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Florida Catholic Bishops: Marriage Equality Threatens Religious Liberty - VIDEO" »


Say 'I Do' To These 20 Twitter Pics of Marriage Equality Arriving in Florida: PHOTOS

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(Photo via Twitter)

Yesterday we brought you news of the first same-sex couples to say "I do" in the Sunshine State. Today, same-sex couples have continued to wed across the state while Republican officials have largely either given up (e.g. Pam Bondi) or remained silent. As wedding bells ring in Florida, check out 20 of the best Twitter pics showing what equality looks like, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Say 'I Do' To These 20 Twitter Pics of Marriage Equality Arriving in Florida: PHOTOS" »


Gay Key West Couple to Marry at Midnight: Watch It LIVE Here

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Aaron Huntsman and William Lee Jones, a gay couple whose legal fight against Florida's gay marriage ban has been in the headlines for months, will marry LIVE after midnight tonight when the stay on the federal ruling striking down Florida's ban expires statewide. It has already been lifted in Miami-Dade County.

You can watch Huntsman and Jones marry LIVE.

Open the link, and save it for later, AFTER THE JUMP...

You may recall that in July Monroe County Judge Luis Garcia ruled in the couple's favor, declaring Florida's gay marriage ban unconstitutional. However a stay was placed on that ruling after Attorney General Pam Bondi filed an appeal. Now, however, following U.S. District Judge Robert Hinkle's ruling which applies to couples across the state, they will be able to marry just after midnight.

Continue reading "Gay Key West Couple to Marry at Midnight: Watch It LIVE Here" »


Jeb Bush Blows 'Religious Liberty' Dog Whistle in New Statement on Gay Marriage in Florida

Former Florida governor and 2016 presidential hopeful Jeb Bush released a new statement today responding to the start of marriage equality in that state.

Jeb_bush"We live in a democracy, and regardless of our disagreements, we have to respect the rule of law. I hope that we can show respect for the good people on all sides of the gay and lesbian marriage issue – including couples making lifetime commitments to each other who are seeking greater legal protections and those of us who believe marriage is a sacrament and want to safeguard religious liberty."

The remarks are clearly a more calculated response (using the religious right's newly-popular victimization rhetoric)  following  spontaneous comments offered on Sunday following a golf match, in which he suggested that gay marriage should be put to a public vote.

Said Bush on Sunday:

“It ought be a local decision. I mean, a state decision. The state decided. The people of the state decided. But it’s been overturned by the courts, I guess.”

The DNC blasted Bush in a statement:

“It took Jeb Bush 69 words to say absolutely nothing — 69 words not to say, ‘I support marriage equality.’ Nothing’s changed,” DNC communications director Mo Elleithee said in a statement. “At the end of Bush’s statement, he still had the same position: he opposes the right of gay and lesbian Floridians — and all LGBT Americans — to get married and adopt children."

Gay couples began marrying earlier today in Miami-Dade County. Marriage equality takes effect statewide after midnight, when a couple will be married live on YouTube in Key West.


Florida AG Pam Bondi Extends Insincere Olive Branch to the Gay Couples She Fought So Hard Against

After months of fighting tooth and nail to keep gay couples as second class citizens in Florida, Attorney General Pam Bondi is accepting the inevitable and waving the white flag...for now.

The Miami Herald reports:

Bondi"The judge has ruled, and we wish these couples the best,'' said Bondi spokesman Whitney Ray in a statement. [...]

Ray said there has been no decision as to whether Bondi will continue to pursue the appeal before the 11th Circuit.

John Stemberg, director of the Orlando-based Florida Family Policy Council which initiated the constitutional ban on gay marriage, said he believes that Bondi has exhausted all legal options. He remains hopeful that the U.S. Supreme Court will take up the issue and restore the state's right to ban same-sex marriage. 

"There could be an appeal to the 11th Circuit but I'm not sure how successful that would be given the fact that they've kicked it back once,'' he said. "She's done her job, and that's all we could ask of her, and she's done it well." 

Same-sex couples can already marry in Miami-Dade county. All other counties will begin issuing licenses tomorrow. Aaron Huntsman and William Lee Jones, a gay couple whose legal fight against Florida's gay marriage ban has been in the headlines for months, will marry LIVE in Key West after midnight tonight. 

Previously, "Tampa Bay Times Names 'Modern-Day Anita Bryant' Pam Bondi Its 'Loser of 2014'" [tlrd]


PHOTOS: Marriage Equality Arrives in Florida!

Marriage
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Florida Judge Sarah Zabel, after lifting the stay on her July ruling striking down the state's ban on same-sex marraige, proceeded to marry two of the gay couples who served as plaintiffs in the case.

Karla Arguello and Cathy Pareto became the first same-sex couple to marry in the state of Florida. Jeffrey and Todd Delmay were married shortly afterwards. 

Watch the emotional courtroom reaction to Zabel lifting the stay, AFTER THE JUMP...

More to come. Stay tuned. 

Continue reading "PHOTOS: Marriage Equality Arrives in Florida!" »


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