Same-Sex Marriage to Go On: Supreme Court Denies Pam Bondi's Request

Categories: LGBT News

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Earlier this week, Attorney General Pam Bondi filed an emergency request with U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas in an attempt to keep the ban on same-sex marriage in place past the January deadline, when LGBT couples were going to be allowed to legally wed in the state.

But on Friday, the Supreme Court delivered a blow to Bondi's plans as they denied her motion for a stay on U.S. District Judge Robert Hinkle's original ruling that Florida's same-sex ban was unconstitutional.

In other words, same-sex couples wishing to get married on January 6 and beyond are once again free to do so.

See also: Florida's First Same-Sex Divorce Granted by Broward Judge

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Florida's First Same-Sex Divorce Granted by Broward Judge

Categories: LGBT News

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On the same day Pam Bondi's emergency request filing to Justice Clarence Thomas was accepted, effectively putting same-sex marriage on hold, a Broward County judge has granted a same-sex couple a divorce.

On Wednesday, Broward County Circuit Court Judge Dale Cohen granted Heather Brassner a divorce from her estranged domestic partner, Megan Lade.

Cohen had recently ruled -- twice -- that Florida's same-sex marriage ban is unconstitutional and that out-of-state gay marriages should be recognized. Brassner and Lade were joined in a civil union in Vermont in 2002.

According to the Associated Press, this makes the first formal same-sex divorce in Florida.

See also: Broward Judge Rules Out-of-State Gay Marriages Should Be Recognized

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Justice Clarence Thomas Accepts Pam Bondi's Request To Rule On Florida's Same-Sex Marriage Ban

Categories: LGBT News

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On Monday, Attorney General Pam Bondi filed an emergency request with U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas in an attempt to keep the ban on same-sex marriage in place past the January deadline, when LGBT couples were going to be allowed to legally wed in the state.

On Tuesday, Justice Thomas, who oversees emergency appeals from the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals for Florida, Alabama and Georgia, agreed to hear the argument over a recent federal court decision that ruled Florida's ban on same-sex marriage is unconstitutional. That decision denied Bondi's original request for a stay in the ruling, which meant that same-sex couples could start filing for marriage licenses on January 6.

See also: Florida Same-Sex Marriages Can Start January 5, Court Rules

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Florida Clerks of Court Will Break the Law if They Issue Same-Sex Marriage Licenses, Law Firm Warns

Categories: LGBT News

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As expected, the powers-that-be in Florida are doing all they can to halt same-sex marriages from being allowed come January. This even after the news earlier this month that a Judicial Circuit of Florida Judge denied Attorney General Pam Bondi's request for an extended stay on a federal judge's ruling that Florida's ban on same-sex marriage is unconstitutional. Many legal experts have opined that LGBT couples who wish to wed will have the permission to do so when the stay expires in early January.

Bondi has now filed a motion to the U.S. Supreme Court asking for an emergency stay until the legality can be clarified. Her moves comes after a law firm has come out and publicly stated that any county clerks of court in the state who issue a marriage license to a gay couple will be breaking the law.

That's exactly what Tallahassee-based law firm Greenberg Traurig did in a memo.

See also: Pam Bondi Asks U.S. Supreme Court to Block Florida Gay Marriage

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Broward Judge Rules Out-of-State Gay Marriages Should Be Recognized

Categories: LGBT News

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If same-sex couples can get married in Florida, like everyone else, they can get divorced too. That's what Broward Judge Dale Cohen essentially ruled on Monday when he overturned the state's ban on gay marriage while presiding over the divorce of a same-sex couple who had been married out of state.

This is actually the second time Cohen has ruled that Florida's ban on same-sex marriage is unconstitutional after having to vacate his original ruling over a legal technicality.

And now, on the heels of the 11th Judicial Circuit of Florida not extending a marriage ban stay last week, same sex marriages can effectively begin come January 6. And divorces can come as well.

See also: Florida Same-Sex Marriages Can Start January 5, Court Rules

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Planting Peace Launches HIV/AIDS Campaign to Send Coal to Antigay Pastor

Categories: LGBT News

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Via Planting Peace
Planting Peace painted this home that sits across the West Baptist Church in gay-pride colors in response to the church's antigay rhetoric
Planting Peace, the group best-known for trolling the Westboro Baptist Church bigots with its rainbow-colored Equality House in 2013, has come up with a similar campaign to go after an Arizona pastor whose antigay rhetoric from a sermon he delivered has gone viral.

Pastor Steven Anderson made headlines this week when he said that a solution to getting rid of AIDS and HIV would be to execute homosexuals.

"If you executed the homos like God recommends," Anderson said in his sermon, "you wouldn't have all this AIDS running rampant.

"We can have an AIDS-free world by Christmas," Anderson added.

In response, Planting Peace has started an online campaign in which it will send a lump of coal to Anderson for every donation it raises for AIDS/HIV awareness.

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Florida Same-Sex Marriages Can Start January 5, Court Rules

Categories: LGBT News

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The 11th Judicial Circuit of Florida has denied Pam Bondi's request for an extended stay on same-sex marriage in the state, which means same-sex marriages may begin as soon as January 5. The stay, placed by U.S. District Judge Robert Hinkle upon request from Bondi, expires on that date.

Back in August, Hinkle became the fifth judge in the state to rule against the same-sex marriage ban. Like the previous rulings, however, Hinkle immediately stayed his ruling, meaning that gay and lesbian couples still couldn't get marriage licenses.

Following Hinkle's ruling, gay rights activists called on the state -- particularly Bondi and Gov. Rick Scott -- to refrain from appealing Hinkle's federal court decision.

See also: Gay-Rights Group Demands Pam Bondi Get Out of the Way

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Mark Haines, Founder of Mark's List, Killed After Being Struck by Vehicles in the Keys

Categories: LGBT News

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Via Facebook
Mark Haines, a prominent leader in the LGBT community and founder of the popular website Mark's List, was killed after being struck by three vehicles while walking after having had dinner with friends Friday evening.

Haines, 54, who hailed from Fort Lauderdale, had been in the Florida Keys with his father and brother as part of the SmartRide long-distance 165-mile bicycle race that goes from Miami to Key West.

The race is a benefit that raises money for organizations that help those affected with HIV/AIDS.


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Fort Lauderdale Draws Disappointing Score on LGBT Municipal Equality Index

Categories: LGBT News

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For a city with the highest concentration of same-sex couples, Fort Lauderdale got a pretty substandard score in the Municipal Equality Index this year. The index, released annually by the gay-rights group Human Rights Campaign, grades how municipalities across the country treat lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender residents.

And Fort Lauderdale scored a 76 out of 100 in this year's index.

Contrast that with the fact that three cities in Arizona -- ARIZONA -- got a perfect score of 100.

In fact, Fort Lauderdale also got beat by other cities in this state, including Miami Beach (100), St. Petersburg (100), and Tampa (97).

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Jazz Jennings, 14-Year-Old Transgender Youth and Author, to Be Honored by Equality Florida

Categories: LGBT News

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Courtesy of Jeanette Jennings
Jazz Jennings has the mind of a girl but the body of boy. So reads the back cover of her 32-page autobiographical book, I Am Jazz. The book, which was released in September, chronicles Jennings' struggles as a transgender child, opens up the dialogue on gender identity, and has helped spark awareness on how transgender people are discriminated against.

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