Florida

  • Here is our complete index of our coverage of marriage equality:

  • On Tuesday, Florida state Rep. Joe Gruters, a former co-chair for Trump’s Florida campaign, filed a proposal that would ban all abortions after 20 weeks, Mother Jones reports.

    The bill is titled the “Florida Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act,” arguing that it is a necessary protection because at 20 weeks’ fetuses can feel pain, a claim which the report is quick to note, has been widely refuted by scientific research.

    The 20-week abortion ban has passed in Ohio and Kentucky and is being proposed in Florida and Virginia.

    If passed, the law would make performing an abortion after 20 weeks a third-degree felony, unless a “serious health risk” otherwise endangers the mother. Doctors would also be required to report all abortions to the state health department. And mothers and father of the unborn would be allowed to sue abortion providers for legal or punitive damages.

    The proposal also establishes a legal defense fund, to be financed with taxpayer money and private donations to cover the costs for defending against any challenges to the bill.

    The text of the bill is available at https://www.flsenate.gov/Session/Bill/2017/0203

    Meanwhile, an abortion law approved last year by governor Rick Scott, is being challenged by the American Civil Liberties Union of Florida, the Naples Herald reports.

    Jan. 27, U.S. District Judge Robert Hinkle will hear a request from the ACLU for an injunction against the law which requires anyone who counsels women on abortion to explain the procedure, and offer alternatives before making referrals or offering assistance in obtaining an abortion.

    The ACLU of Florida cites that the law does not make distinctions among the types of counsel women might pursue when considering an abortion or abortion alternatives. These types of counsel include legal services, religious services, advocacy organizations, domestic violence shelters, centers for survivors of sexual assault, community organizers, among others.

     “A woman considering an abortion may consult with any number of people in making her decision,” said Nancy Abudu, ACLU Florida’s legal director, in a statement.

    “This ill-conceived law criminalizes the intimate conversations a woman has with her support network. The law not only forces people to provide information they may not be qualified to provide, it clearly intends to bully and intimidate women’s trusted advisors with a vague and complicated bureaucratic process, under the threat of criminal charges.”

    These groups and individuals would then be required to register with the Florida Agency for Healthcare Administration (ACHA) as an “abortion referral or counseling agency” with all the obligations, restrictions, and penalties that such a designation entails.

    “This law is classic viewpoint discrimination: it restricts speakers only when they assist a woman seeking abortion care; it imposes no restrictions when speakers, including the plaintiffs in this case, assist a woman in carrying to term,” said Talcott Camp, deputy director of the ACLU Reproductive Freedom Project. 

    “By targeting people and organizations that provide compassionate counseling, advice and referrals, this law can only serve to isolate a woman seeking help.  This isolation is particularly threatening for minors, who, under this law, cannot seek advice or help from their pastors or from service organization without triggering a parental notification requirement with no exceptions, even for minors who are victims of abuse.” 

  • A Florida state representative is trying to introduce a law that would allow for businesses to discriminate against LGBT people.

  • Florida Representative David Richardson (D-Miami Beach) kicked off a campaign for the State Senate Friday night in Fort Lauderdale with a message of being able to get the job done. Richardson is currently serving his second term in the Florida House of Representatives and is the only openly gay legislator serving in Tallahassee.

  • Desmond Meade and Neil Volz are counting down the days to Aug. 18 — it’s the midterm election, and it will be the first time both men have been allowed to vote in decades.

  • Tallahassee – Hate crimes are on the rise in the Sunshine State.

  • The Florida Senate Judiciary Committee voted 7-3 to move forward the so-called Pastor Protection Act “providing that churches or religious organizations, related organizations, or certain individuals may not be required to solemnize any marriage or provide services, accommodations, facilities, goods, or privileges for related purposes if such action would violate a sincerely held religious belief,” according to the bill’s text.

  • In a hotly contested Senate campaign, the state’s largest LGBT civil rights organization is backing Miami Beach attorney Michael Gongora.

  • CORRECTION! This story erroneously reported that the Florida Supreme Court had agreed to take on the same-sex marriage case, when in fact, at the time the story was published, the Florida Supreme Court had only been asked to rule on the case. A correct version (previously published here at SFGN) can be found here. We apologize for the error.

    From our media partner Watermark

     

  • The Florida Department of Health is setting up a workshop to write regulations for the cannabis oil known as "Charlotte's Web."

  • Broward and Miami-Dade School Boards will continue to include gender identity in protections.

  • Florida has 27 new laws ranging from tougher penalties for people who solicit prostitutes to making revenge porn a crime.

  • Two years later, Florida’s same-sex married couples finally have their family paperwork in order.

  • YULEE, Fla. (AP) — With gay marriage now legal in Florida, same-sex couples from around the Deep South crossed the border Tuesday as the Sunshine State became a prime regional destination for gay and lesbian weddings still banned back home.

  • THE CAPITAL, TALLAHASSEE, June 16, 2014..........Forget suspense. Rick Scott and Charlie Crist are in the race for governor.

  • Win the Era, Pete Buttigieg’s political action committee, has endorsed four Democrats running for state-level office in Florida.

  • CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) — A conservative law firm that has worked to oppose gay marriage initiatives nationwide is representing a Wyoming magistrate under investigation for saying she would refuse to perform same-sex marriages.

  • This small town festival continues to grow

  • Gay Camping and RVing in Florida

    A few years ago I bought a 28-foot Sunnybrook fifth wheel trailer, and named it Heath. Heath was towed by a 2500HD Chevrolet Silverado pickup, which I named Jake. Last year I upgraded to an Open Range 350 square foot condo on wheels with all the comforts of home including a washer and dryer, and king size memory foam bed — he is also named Heath. Hauling Heath Jake can pass anything except a gas station.

  • With less than a week to go until the general election, candidates are making their final pitches to voters. In Central Florida, one race appears to be coming down to the wire.

  • If you snooze, you lose.

  • (SS) Licensed professionals who attempt to “convert” young people who are gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender are increasingly unwelcome in South Florida.

  • The first couple issued a same-sex marriage license in Florida is suing the state, saying that its Bureau of Vital Statistics still won't allow hospitals to list both same-sex parents on birth certificates.

  • MIAMI (AP) - Attorneys for two Key West men challenging the state's ban on same sex marriage want the Florida Supreme Court to take up the case.

  • TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) -- A state appeals court has refused to let Attorney General Pam Bondi take the state's ban on gay marriage directly to the Florida Supreme Court.

  • Florida Representative Shevrin Jones is having a tough go of it lately.

  • From our media partner Sun Sentinel - Florida's biggest gay rights group vouched Thursday for the sincerity of Charlie Crist's transition from opponent of same-sex marriage and gays adopting children to ally of the gay and lesbian community.

  • THE CAPITAL, TALLAHASSEE, January 29, 2014..........Republican Gov. Rick Scott and Democrats Charlie Crist and Nan Rich came out swinging on Wednesday at the first event where all three gubernatorial candidates appeared in advance of the November election.