As federal judges in state after state rule in favor of same-sex marriage — Oregon, Utah, Arkansas, Pennsylvania — six gay couples in Florida who filed a lawsuit against the state in an attempt to overturn its ban on marriage equality will have their day in court this summer. The Eleventh Judicial Court Judge Sarah Zabel will hear the case in Miami on July 2.
“Today the majority of Floridians stand with us, as there is no reasonable argument for discrimination against our families,” said Equality Florida Institute Chief Executive Officer Nadine Smith. “Throughout the nation, courts have ruled that these harmful laws are outdated and out of step, and we believe that equality and justice will prevail in Florida, as well.”
In other LGBT news:
• A binational, married gay couple that legally wed in Massachusetts last summer has filed a lawsuit against Florida Atlantic University for not recognizing their marriage. The university rejected one of the men’s application for in-state tuition based on their marriage because Florida law doesn’t recognize same-sex marriage.
• Common Core educational standards already are a divisive topic. But one Florida lawmaker is taking the debate to a new level.
Republican State Rep. Charles Van Zant claims the Common Core will turn students gay. He said that the American Institute for Research, which is developing Common Core testing for Florida, “are promoting as hard as they can, any youth that is interested in the LGBT agenda.”
He made these comments at the Operation Education Conference in Orlando in March, and also told attendees: "These people that will now receive $220 million from the state of Florida, unless this is stopped, will promote double-mindedness in state education and will attract every one of your children to become as homosexual as they possibly can.”
• St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman has made a deal with St. Pete Pride to waive half of the security and cleanup fees associated with the festivities planned for June 27-29, which were estimated to cost the organization $69,000. The city has sponsored the annual event in name only for the past few years, and this is the first time the city has offered assistance beyond that.
Mayor Kriseman will also be the first city leader to ever take part in the Pride parade. And it’s the first time that city police officers and firefighters will be permitted to walk in the parade in uniform.