Friday, July 18, 2014

Mitch Perry Report 7.18.14 - Same-sex marriage gets closer to becoming a reality in Florida

Posted By on Fri, Jul 18, 2014 at 9:39 AM

click to enlarge ANA CRUZ WITH HER MOM, STATE REPRESENTATIVE JANET CRUZ
  • Ana Cruz with her mom, state Representative Janet Cruz
Last night same-sex marriage supporters gathered at the Unity of Tampa Church in South Tampa, one of 14 gathering spots set up in advance by Equality Florida to convene following the ruling legalizing same-sex marriage in Monroe County — though Attorney General Pam Bondi immediately announced that the state would be appealing the decision, meaning no marriages in Key West just yet. The decision was made by Circuit Judge Luis M. Garcia, appointed by Gov. Jeb Bush in 2000 and re-elected twice since then,

"I think the door has been cracked a little bit, and I think within the year I think it's going to be wide open," said the Reverend Debbie Moss, the senior minister at the Unity of Tampa.

There are two other cases pending in the campaign to make same-sex marriage legal in the Sunshine State, in Tallahassee and Miami-Dade County.  

Tampa Democratic Representative Janet Cruz says it's only a matter of time until Florida joins nearly half the country in legalizing the procedure statewide. "I urge Floridians to take a look and be accepting and realize that love is love." She was joined at the event by her daughter Ana Cruz, a political consultant who currently dates Tampa Police Chief Jane Castor. Ana grew emotional and couldn't respond when CL asked if she would be eager to get married if same-sex marriage becomes the law of the land in the Sunshine State, but Janet Cruz isn't shy about voicing her opinions about it all.

"I would like that to happen. I would like to see her and Jane married and happy and be able to call themselves  a legally married couple. I mean, honestly, isn't it ridiculous in this day and age we're still arguing this? It doesn't make sense to me."

It may take a while, but the momentum is moving fast. Florida was the land of Anita Bryant and banning same-sex couples from adopting and of Amendment Two, which banned same-sex marriage in 2008. But like the rest of the nation, it is changing when it comes to dealing with issues involving the LGBT community. On Wednesday the Hillsborough Board of County Commissioners took a major step towards once again including lesbians, gays and transgendered people in their Human Rights Ordinance. The times are changing. Fast. Same-sex marriage opponent John Stemberger with the Florida Family Policy Council said yesterday that "This is an issue worthy dying for," adding that such unions "devalue marriage."


CL's David Warner has more.

And In other news ...

Charlie Crist has named Annette Taddeo-Goldstein to be his running mate. 

In Washington D.C. advocates say closing the gender pay gap will improve the safety net for women in this country.

And check out our reviews of two new novels dealing with journalism, one from a New York City perspective, the other from Tallahassee.




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