Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Mitch Perry Report 6.25.14: Bondi doubles down against same-sex marriage

Posted By on Wed, Jun 25, 2014 at 8:25 AM

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Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi announced yesterday that she is moving to defend Florida's ban on same-sex marriage in two lawsuits pending in state courts. That's in addition to defending the state against a federal lawsuit filed in north Florida that maintains the ban discriminates against gay couples by not recognizing same-sex marriages performed in states where they are legal.

Bondi's actions in Miami-Dade and Monroe counties come after the Tampa native made headlines last month with her assertion that "disrupting Florida's existing marriage laws would impose significant harm." She also wrote that the state's marriage laws have a direct relationship to "society's legitimate interest in increasing the likelihood that children will be born to and raised by mothers and fathers who produced them in stable and enduring family units."

“After the initial backlash to her bigoted comments, Bondi insisted that she was just doing her job," Florida Democratic Party Political Director Christian Ulvert said in a statement last night. "Now it is clear that Bondi is waging an ideologically charged war against LGBT Floridians, going out of her way to waste taxpayer dollars in an effort to stop Floridians from enjoying the same rights as their fellow citizens."

Bondi's remarks about maintaining the family unit ignore the fact there are gay couples raising children (successfully) as we speak. Which raises the question of simple decorum: it's one thing as AG to defend the state's laws, another to keep ratcheting up the political rhetoric on such an emotionally charged issue. Floridians will get their chance to approve or disapprove of her tenure this fall, when she runs for re-election against either George Sheldon or Perry Thurston...

We could go batty reporting daily polls more than four months away from the general election, but let's be honest — they're sort of going in Rick Scott's direction. What does it mean? Only that Charlie Crist had a nice 6-8 point lead in polls for the first part of this year, and now those same polls show the race tied, or the governor even up by a point or two.

Fifty years ago we had the Mississippi Summer, which brought people from across the country to register as many black voters as possible there. Now the Florida Dream Defenders are invoking that spirit in the Sunshine State, where they say they'll work in nine counties (including Hillsborough and Polk) to educate young voters.

And Senator Jeff Brandes has struck out once in hoping to bust PSTA for going over the line of education into advocacy in using taxpayer dollars to promote the Greenlight Pinellas initiative. Now he's upset again over a report broadcast by WTSP-10's Mike Deeson.

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