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Motion To Lift Stay On Florida Same-Sex Marriage Ban Denied: VIDEO

Aaron huntsman

A motion asking Monroe County Circuit Judge Luis Garcia to lift a stay in his ruling that Florida’s ban on same-sex marriage is unconstitutional has been denied, reports CBS Miami.

The motion was filed by Key West bartenders Aaron Huntsman and William Lee Jones.

Last week, Garcia ruled that the 2008 constitutional ban on same-sex marriage is discriminatory and violates gay people’s right to equal treatment under the law.

However, Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi, who in May asked a federal judge to throw out a lawsuit seeking recognition of out-of-state same-sex marriages, filed a notice of appeal, staying the ruling.

Agreeing with Bondi, Garcia wrote:

“Based on decisions of the United States Supreme Court and other courts to stay proceedings in similar challenges, this court DENIES the Emergency Motion. The automatic stay, currently in place, shall remain in place until completion of appellate proceedings or until further order of the Court.”

Speaking to CBS Miami regarding his concerns about same-sex marriage, Auxiliary Bishop of Miami Peter Baldacchino said "our fear is that the implications of tampering with the language of marriage will have far-reaching implications that can hurt especially the vulnerable."

However, remaining positive, Huntsman said "whether is happens to tomorrow or if it doesn't, it's going to happen."

Watch the CBS Miami report on Garcia's ruling, AFTER THE JUMP...

 

Continue reading "Motion To Lift Stay On Florida Same-Sex Marriage Ban Denied: VIDEO" »


Key West's Island House Resort Put Up For Sale

One of the longest operating gay resorts in the world, the Island House in Key West is now being put up for sale by owner Jon Allen who bought the resort (open since 1976) with partner Martin Kay in 1999. The couple invested more than $2 million in the refurbishment of the resort, but Kay passed away in 2013. Allen, for his part, still believes that the House will flourish under new management.

IslandHouse_KeyWestMetroWeekly reports:

"I think I can say without boast that we created at Island House a unique place, a safe and happy space for thousands of gay men to meet, to eat and drink, to make merry. I’m proud of that, but more important in this context, Island House is successful and profitable operation. I’m confident that its new owner will operate it as a gay men’s resort. It has higher ADR’s and occupancy than any comparable property in Old Town. There’s no good reason to change its model. It’s a success," wrote Allen.

Steve Smith, outreach director for the Key West Business Guild and a friend to Allen and Kay from the time they purchased the Island House, said, "[Jon and Martin's] purchase and renovation of the Island House was a major undertaking and the end result shows through its loyal repeat guests and their dedicated employees."

Top ratings don't hurt either; the clothing-optional resort was called the "best gay resort in the world" by outtraveler.com, and its amenities, including a pool, hot tub, tanning deck, spa, and cafe/bar all help create a top notch experience. For now the resort will continue to operate as usual. 

Image via MetroWeekly.


Diana Nyad Talks to CNN's AC360 About Her Triumphant Cuba to Florida Swim: VIDEO

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As Towleroad reported yesterday, out lesbian Diana Nyad completed an historic, epic swim from Havana, Cuba to Key West without the aid of a shark cage. An exhausted Nyad spoke with Sanjay Gupta following her swim about what brought her to it, and what got her through it.

"Push Cuba back, and push Florida toward you."

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Diana Nyad Talks to CNN's AC360 About Her Triumphant Cuba to Florida Swim: VIDEO" »


Twins Raised by Two Moms are Key West High School's First Valedictorian and Salutatorian Sisters

Twins

Erin and Elizabeth Czerwinski were named Valedictorian and Salutatorian of Key West High School in Florida this month, Freedom to Marry reports. They had grade point averages of 4.713 and 4.746.

They are the school's first sisters to take the double top honor, and they were raised by a lesbian couple.

Now, who was saying gay people can't raise children?


Watch: Ringing in 2011 with Anderson Cooper, Kathy Griffin, Snooki, Andy Cohen, and Key West Drag Queen Sushi

Sushi

Happy 2011 everyone!

If you spent last night away from a television set, here are clips of CNN's celebration with Anderson Cooper and Kathy Griffin, MTV's Snooki drop at the Jersey Shore, Bravo's Wig Drop with Andy Cohen, Kim Zolciak, and a bunch of drunk housewives, and Key West's drag queen Sushi.

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Watch: Ringing in 2011 with Anderson Cooper, Kathy Griffin, Snooki, Andy Cohen, and Key West Drag Queen Sushi" »


Florida Delivers Subsidy Benefits to Adopted Son of Gay Couple

Smith_skahen

Back in September 2008 I posted about a judge's decision to strike down Florida's adoption ban in the case of Wayne LaRue Smith, a Key West man who was allowed to adopt the foster son he had been caring for.

Good news in that case. Child welfare administrators have finally agreed to provide subsidy benefits to the child:

"On Tuesday, DCF lawyers did an about-face, agreeing in writing to provide the boy with subsidized college tuition, health insurance under the state's Medicaid program, and other benefits typically provided to other children who are adopted from state care. 'It means, finally, after 10 years, he gets what every other child in the same circumstance gets just by asking,' Smith said of his now-teenage son, who has not been identified by The Miami Herald to protect his privacy. 'In a symbolic sense, for whatever reason, the department has decided to take the better path, one they should have taken in the first instance,' Smith added. 'I will probably wonder forever why it is that we had to go through years and years of litigation, and hundreds of thousands in expenses, just to get what other children get automatically.'"

The Florida ban on adoption still exists, though a judge recently dealt another blow to it by allowing a lesbian couple to adopt an infant relative.


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