Wedding photo for Edgard Perez and Charles Windham
With arms interlocked, about 20 gay and lesbian couples, too eager to wait any longer, were married in a five-minute ceremony at 3 a.m. on Tuesday at the Broward County Courthouse in Fort Lauderdale as Florida marked a long, arduous journey to become the 36th state to legalize same sex marriage.
Now the nation’s third-largest state, Florida joined the list allowing same-sex unions just six years after the state, led by Republican lawmakers, voted to approve a constitutional ban on gay marriage, which garnered 62 percent of the vote.
“Do you take each other to be your spouse for life?” asked Howard C. Forman, the Broward County clerk of courts, slightly stressing the word spouse. Together, the couples uttered their individual vows to one another. “I pronounce you legally married,” Mr. Forman said.
With that, the couples, their families and friends roared, cheered and clapped, and Frank Sinatra’s “Love” blasted into the room. For Anthony Butera, 44, and Abdel Magid, 45, there was no doubt that marrying as soon as possible in their home state was a must-do. A couple for 12 years, the two donned wedding finery — Mr. Butera wore a cream tuxedo jacket with a black handkerchief and Mr. Magid a black tuxedo jacket with a white boutonniere — and infectious smiles.
“It’s special to be recognized and be treated like everyone else,” Mr. Magid said.
More victories in a nation that supposedly believes in equal opportunity, that preaches to the rest of the world that we are the bastion of democracy and reason – and there still are states and politicians, religions and zealots who believe they have a mandate to prevent equal civil rights for every American. They believed they could do it because of skin color, They believe they can do so because of sexual inclination.
Understanding their misbegotten belief doesn’t make it anymore defensible. Such bigotry belongs in history’s cesspool. Witnessing expressions of love and freedom from these newly-married folks is worth so much more than the hatred and fear of fools.
RTFA for more examples of a new kind of freedom creeping cautiously through the halls of Florida’s backwards government, a state which still tries to dignify the fascist time-warp infecting their brains.
A Florida man was arrested for smoking crack cocaine with his hospitalized friend, causing a small fire in an intensive care unit where the patient was located…
Lee Vern Cook, 54, was arrested Christmas Eve on multiple charges, including arson, five counts of possession of a controlled substance, possession of drug paraphernalia and possession of a firearm in the commission of a felony.
Cook is accused of visiting a bed-ridden friend in the North Okaloosa Medical Center Intensive Care Unit, bringing with him crack cocaine, a pipe from which to smoke the drug and a firearm. The two smoked the cocaine together from a homemade device, police say, but the patient wore an oxygen mask and the flame from lighting the pipe mixed with the gas to rapidly cause a fire.
Burn damage was limited to bed linens, the patient’s gown and the oxygen mask itself. The patient suffered injuries and was transferred to a burn unit, but the hospital was not evacuated. Cook suffered burns to his hands and was evaluated before being taken to jail.
According to police, Cook admitted to bringing the drugs as well as the loaded firearm into the hospital. He showed authorities where he had hidden the gun in a bathroom before being taken to Okaloosa County Jail.
I’ll say it one more time. Junkies and crooks aren’t famous for decision-making.
…A 90-year-old activist and two pastors from two churches in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., were arrested at a park on Sunday and then again on Wednesday for doing what they’ve been doing there for years: serving meals to the homeless.
On Oct. 22, the city’s commissioners passed a measure that requires feeding sites to be more than 500 feet away from each other and 500 feet from residential properties. Only one group is allowed to share food with the homeless per city block…
Arnold Abbott, the 90-year-old Fort Lauderdale activist, began offering food to the homeless living on the city’s beaches in the 1990s. Then he formed his own nonprofit, Love Thy Neighbor, and has continued to serve food twice weekly to the homeless at the beach and in a park.
“These are the poorest of the poor. They have nothing; they don’t have a roof over their heads,” Abbot said Wednesday. He added that a police officer ordered him to drop the plate of food he was holding, as if it were a weapon, the AP reported.
Obviously subversive. Actually living up to slogans like Love The Neighbor isn’t acceptable in Florida.
If convicted…Abbott could receive a sentence of 60 days in jail or a fine of $500.
“I know I will be arrested again, I’m prepared for that,” Abbott said. “I am my brother’s keeper, and what they are doing is just heartless. They are trying to sweep the poorest of the poor under the rug.”
Seriously, does anyone expect our politicians to support care for the poor?
Yeah, yeah, there will be the expected blather about trickle-down this and that; but, when push comes to shove, the Republican governor of Florida was just re-elected after he kept over a million poor Floridians from having access to Medicaid.
Butt dial leads police to meth lab
Three Floridians were busted after one of them butt-dialed 911 while discussing their alleged drug operation.
The dispatcher heard Donna Knope, 55, Jason Knope, 32, and Thomas Stallings, 41, talk about “making and selling methamphetamine” for nearly half an hour on Saturday, authorities said.
Police traced the call to the backyard of the Knopes’ home on Roland Drive in Deltona, 30 miles north of Orlando…
Donna Knope is Jason Knope’s mother.
Volusia County Sheriff’s Office deputies looked inside an open window to a shed to find what appeared to be a meth lab…
They saw a “bottle that appeared to be smoking” and white smoke came streaming from the shed, according to police.
The trio was arrested at the scene where deputies say they found all the elements needs to operate a meth lab, including hypodermic needles, a butane torch, plastic tubing, coffee filters, lighter fluid and more.
All three suspects were charged with manufacturing methamphetamine and possessing methamphetamine with the intent to sell or deliver…
The Coast Guard says it rescued a man inside a hydro pod bubble, 70 miles east of St. Augustine on Saturday morning…They…received a report about Reza Baluchi, a U.S. citizen was floating in an inflatable bubble and was “reportedly disoriented and asking for directions to Bermuda Wednesday.”
The Coast Guard Cutter Webber arrived on scene and requested Baluchi terminate his trip because of the lack of supplies on board to sustain him. The Coast Guard said Baluchi had protein bars, bottled water, a GPS, and a satellite phone.
According to Baluchi’s website, he is a marathon runner and was aiming to travel through the Bermuda Triangle in the bubble in order to raise money for charity.
After he refused to leave his raft, Coast Guard monitored his movements until he activated his Personal Positioning Indicating Radio Beacon (PPIRB) Saturday morning due to fatigue. Coast Guard aircrafts out of Clearwater began searching for Baluchi.
According to the Coast Guard, an aircrew arrived on scene and safely “hoisted Baluchi from his inflatable raft and transported him to Air Station Clearwater where emergency medical services evaluated him.”
There were no reports of any injuries.
Poisonally, I hope the Coasties charge for at least some of the cost of rescuing his sorry butt. It doesn’t matter how good a marathoner may be. Trying to travel hundreds of miles in a truly inefficient device like this would take weeks or months to cover the distance he wanted to attempt.
With half a brain he might have tried some reasonable distances on a large lake with support at hand – just to trial his idea. Instead he headed out into open water for a thousand-mile first leg. Idjit.
…There’s always some idle secession chatter in the freedom-and-independence-loving United States, too. A new poll shows one in four Americans support “the idea of your state peacefully withdrawing from the United States of America and the federal government.”
But could it ever be more than a rhetorical phenomenon in the States? It seems unlikely, given that those who benefit most from union are those most interested in secession…
Secession got more support from Republicans than Democrats, more from right- than left-leaning independents, more from younger than older people, more from lower- than higher-income brackets, more from high school than college grads…. Of the people who said they identified with the Tea Party, supporters of secession were actually in the majority, with 53 percent.
In other words, it’s recipients of government largess who want to get out. It’s net donors to the government who want to stay. To wit, only one in five residents of the wealthy New England states supports secession, separatist-lusty Vermont included, versus one in three residents of the poorer southwest, where the urge is more pronounced…
None of that should surprise you. Survey polls like this also need to factor in a blowhard index?
But it takes a lot more than grit to make it as a new country — and generally, the poorer, smaller, and less-diversified the state, the worse it would fare after independence. Secession itself would also be extremely costly, though how costly would depend on whether the United States acceded to the plan (not likely) and how much it wanted to antagonize New Kansas or Free Texas or what have you. Would it forgive said state’s debts? Would it implement airspace restrictions, travel restrictions, sanctions, or even a full embargo? Might it bar a new country from the global payments system?
But let’s say we’re in a heartless, rationalist thunderdome-type situation. In that case, who deserves to get kicked out?
The article wanders through West Virginia, Wyoming, Hawaii, Alaska, Texas, Kansas and Vermont as states we’d miss the least.
I love when Annie Lowrey gets down to the real losers we wouldn’t pay to stay: Ohio and Florida. Both states trying their best to screw everyone with the wrong color, unacceptable sex, too old to care about education and too poor to be registered to vote.
And especially calling Florida America’s lunatic dongle really warms my looney geek-heart the most.
Deputies with the Sarasota County, Fla., Sheriff’s Office got quite a surprise on Tuesday.
According to investigators, a woman cleaning a home found an alleged burglar sleeping on a bed in the house he was robbing. With a bag of stolen jewelry on the bed next to him.
They also said 29-year-old Dion Davis did not even wake up when they were taking pictures of him, passed out on the bed.
Har. Dian Dumbass!
A federal judge overturned Florida’s ban on same-sex marriage Thursday, saying that 50 years from now it will be seen as “an obvious pretext for discrimination.”
U.S. District Judge Robert L. Hinkle ordered the state to recognize the marriages of couples who tied the knot in jurisdictions where they could do so legally. But he stayed the order while Florida decides on an appeal.
“When observers look back 50 years from now, the arguments supporting Florida’s ban on same-sex marriage, though just as sincerely held, will again seem an obvious pretext for discrimination,” Hinkle said. “Observers who are not now of age will wonder just how those views could have been held.”
As it was with Jim Crow laws, anti-miscegenation laws, every kind of bigotry held as just and holy by the ignorant and stupid – this, too, shall pass. The shame belongs to the ethically corrupt who try to profit politically from the continuance of bigoted laws.
Since the U.S. Supreme Court overturned the federal Defense of Marriage Act last year, supporters of same-sex marriage have challenged laws across the country and have had an almost unbroken string of legal victories…
Katherine Lynn Bryan grew up in New Port Richey, Florida, the youngest in a tight-knit group of four siblings. She recently got married and became Katherine Hoover. At the age of 25, she was five months pregnant. The new baby was going to be her second son.
Instead, a tragic gun accident at a friend’s house left the young mother and her unborn child dead Sunday…
A stay-at-home mother who had recently moved from New Port Richey to Inverness, Katherine Hoover died in a hospital emergency room early Sunday.
She was shot in the head Saturday evening while being shown a gun at a friend’s house in Brooksville, authorities said.
She and her husband, Carson Hoover, had gone to visit friends at 20079 Suncrest Drive in northwest Brooksville, just outside the city limits.
Sometime around 6:45 p.m. inside the house, William DeHayes was showing the Hoovers some of his guns, including a .22-caliber revolver. The gun accidentally fired and shot Katherine Hoover in the head, according to the Hernando County Sheriff’s Office.
Hoover was rushed to Bayfront Health Brooksville and then airlifted to Regional Medical Center Bayonet Point.
Her unborn child could not be saved. Shortly before 8 p.m. Saturday, physicians removed the 5-month-old fetus from his dying mother in a last-ditch attempt to save him. But he was pronounced dead just after 8:30 p.m.
Hoover succumbed to her injuries just after 3 a.m. Sunday. She is survived by her other son, 6-year-old Nicholas, her family said.
So far — coppers say, “Hey, it’s an accident” and no charges preferred against DeHayes for handling a loaded gun and killing someone.
Keep on rocking in the Free World!
A state judge struck down Florida’s gay marriage ban on Friday in the latest in a string of legal gay-rights victories that have nonetheless been put on hold for resolution by higher courts.
Circuit court judge Sarah Zabel in Miami-Dade county said Florida’s ban violated the constitutional rights to due process and equal protection, and offended “basic human decency“.
Florida’s attorney general quickly appealed against the ruling. But Zabel said the slew of recent verdicts showed it was “increasingly obvious” it was impermissible to deny couples the right to marry solely on the basis of their sexual orientation, and that doing so served no governmental purpose.
“It serves only to hurt, to discriminate, to deprive same-sex couples and their families of equal dignity, to label and treat them as second-class citizens, and to deem them unworthy of participation in one of the fundamental institutions of our society,” she wrote.
Now, you can see ever more clearly why the Republican Party and their nutball acolytes are blocking affirmation of federal judgeships throughout Obama’s terms in the White House. No one expects him to appoint anyone other than moderate to traditionally-conservative judges; but, even that is too scary for right-wingers and theocrats.
Anyone with an understanding of law beyond 19th Century blood-and-thunder oratory is going to rule favorably upon all the issues Congress is too cowardly to advance.