Florida AG candidate Sean Shaw fights ‘for the people, not the powerful’ if elected

By : Layla Ferris
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TAMPA | Rep. Sean Shaw (D-Tampa) pledges to fight “for the people, not the powerful” if elected as Florida’s next attorney general.

Shaw, a Sunshine State native who studied law at the University of Florida, has represented District 61 for the State House of Representatives since 2016. While in office Shaw supported The Florida Competitive Workforce Act and voted to ban conversion therapy statewide.

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Uprisings: Absentee ballot

By : Billy Manes
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My first time meeting current senatorial and failed presidential candidate Marco Rubio was at a princess party. It was 2008, we were in the upstairs area of the legislature where people come to be actual people, and we shook hands while his daughter’s friends leapt around in pink taffeta. Rubio, who is just one year younger than me by a week, was playing dad, and all of that was fine, as it should be.

I watched Rubio when he led the House floor, gavel in hand. I looked into his eyes as he made it certain that he really didn’t care about what wrath he was enabling from the far right, about what women he was ignoring, about what princesses would never be real princesses according to his flight of Floridian fancy. Rubio, a linchpin for the Republican Party if only for his looks and his connection to Hispanic voters, came off as a fraud. And, yes, these are mere observations. But sometimes staring someone in the eyes is the shortest distance between speculation and fact. Rubio, as a U.S. Senator, has been widely reported as a derelict to the justice he was elected to embody. Sift the records all you want; Rubio missed 41 percent of the votes he was elected to oversee. Rubio is not qualified for his job. Rubio is a plant.

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Man who shot gun in air after being ogled by gay men gets life sentence reduced

By : Jamie Hyman
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Tallahassee (AP) – A man who was essentially given a life sentence for firing a gun in the air when four gay men ogled him from the house next door will have his sentence reduced after the Florida Supreme Court ruled that the state’s 10-20-life wasn’t properly applied.

Ronald Williams pointed a gun at the men who were whistling and making comments at him as he walked into his Riviera Beach home and then he fired the weapon several times in the air. The men ran into the house, but nobody was injured. Williams was convicted of four counts of aggravated assault, which requires a mandatory minimum 20-year sentence when a gun is fired. The judge who sentenced Williams in 2010 believed that the law required the sentences run consecutively and gave him 80 years in prison. An appeals court upheld the sentence.

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Associated Press poll: Gay marriage top Florida story of 2015

By : Wire Report
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Miami (AP) – Florida’s biggest news story for 2015 happened in the year’s first days, when the state became the 36th with legalized gay marriage, according to an Associated Press poll of the state’s newspaper and broadcast editors.

Gay marriage easily beat out the No. 2 story, the long-running saga over the districts the Florida Legislature drew for Congress and the state Senate that had to be redrawn because they violated the state’s 2010 anti-gerrymandering law.

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FL Senate moves toward striking anti-gay adoption ban

By : Jamie Hyman
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Tallahassee – The State Senate has taken a small step toward striking the outdated language that prohibits adoption by gay people in the State of Florida.

The ban has been obsolete and unenforced since 2010, when it was ruled unconstitutional. The move to scrub the gay adoption ban language is part of a larger adoption bill that provides adoption benefits to state employees and incentive payments to community-based care groups. Of the 20 pages of bill language, just a single line applies to deleting the ban on adoption by gays.

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Florida Supreme Court asked to interpret HIV prevention law

By : Wire Report
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Tallahassee (AP) – What does “sexual intercourse” mean in Florida?

The state’s Supreme Court justices are pondering the question in a case that threatens to weaken a 1986 law requiring HIV-positive people to reveal their infection before having “sexual intercourse.” A defense lawyer told the court Wednesday that Florida’s laws have always used the term to describe traditional sex between a man and a woman, and not any other sexual activity by either gender.

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Florida’s same-sex marriage fight will not go straight to state Supreme Court

By : Wire Report
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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.

The 3rd District Court of Appeals on Oct. 24 indicated in a brief sentence that it will continue to consider Bondi’s appeal against overturning Florida’s gay marriage ban.

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A.G. Pam Bondi asks Florida Supreme Court to rule on same-sex marriage

By : Wire Report
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — Attorney General Pam Bondi has defended Florida’s gay marriage ban, but she now says she wants the state’s high court to settle whether the ban is legal.

Bondi’s office filed a request late Oct. 13 with the 3rd District Court of Appeal in Miami in the turnabout decision.

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Equality leaders celebrate adoption ban anniversary with renewed push for marriage equality

By : Staff Report
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Talalhassee – Four years ago, Florida’s three decades-old ban on same-sex couples adopting children fell when then-governor Charlie Crist refused to appeal. That’s the motivation to keep fighting for marriage equality in Florida, leaders said in two separate press conferences held on Sept. 22.

The two phone conferences, held in Tallahassee and Miami, featured Nadine Smith of Equality Florida, George Sheldon, a Democrat running for Florida Attorney General, and Martin Gill, the plaintiff in the historic adoption case four years ago.

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FL Attorney General appeals several gay marriage rulings

By : Wire Report
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Miami (AP) – Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi filed appeals late Sept. 12 on several rulings overturning the state’s ban on gay marriage.

The motion argues the sole legal issue is the constitutional validity of the state ban and any changes should come from voters, not the courts. Florida voters approved the ban in 2008.

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Florida Supreme Court sends gay divorce case back to appeals court

By : Wire Report
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Tallahassee, Fla. (AP) – The Florida Supreme Court won’t consider the constitutionality of the state’s gay marriage ban in order to settle a same-sex divorce case.

The high court said Sept. 5 the 2nd District Court of Appeal first should rule on the case, in which a lesbian couple married in Massachusetts and is now seeking a divorce in Florida.

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Court of Appeal tells Bondi marriage cases must move forward

By : Staff Report
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Tallahassee – Pam Bondi can’t avoid the marriage equality debate any longer. That’s according to a decision released by the Third District Court of Appeal Aug. 28.

“Upon consideration, appellant’s motions to stay briefing are denied,” wrote the Third District Court of Appeal in a terse ruling.

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