John Stemberger

A google search for the Florida Family Policy Council says its website has been hacked. President John Stemberger confirms the site has been hacked several times.
google.com

Some religious conservatives are being labeled as hypocrites for offering words of support following the mass shooting at an Orlando area gay nightclub. But one Florida leader says it's not hypocritical to express a value while also sympathizing with victims of the attack.

Alex Johnson/MettaMomma via Flickr

Three groups that campaigned heavily for Florida’s constitutional gay marriage ban have asked a Miami judge to allow them to intervene in a lawsuit challenging it. They want to be allowed to argue against six same-sex couples.

The motion was filed Tuesday by groups called People United To Lead The Struggle For Equality, the Florida Democratic League, and Florida Family Action. Florida Family Action President John Stemberger says throwing out the same-sex marriage ban would disenfranchise millions of voters who decided the matter in 2008.

Marriage equality got a major boost when the U.S. Supreme Court struck down major provisions in the Federal Defense of Marriage Act last month.  But it’s still unclear how married same-sex couples will access benefits if they live in states that don’t recognize their union.

Florida happens to be just such a state, and Governor Rick Scott said the DOMA decision applies to federal law and will not impact state laws. 

Jessica Palombo

The U.S. Supreme Court handed down two landmark decisions Wednesday – both by 5-4 votes. 

The Court first struck down the Federal Defense of Marriage Act, or DOMA.  Next, it vacated a lower court’s decision on California’s Proposition 8.  While this latter decision didn’t set up marriage as a civil right, it does clear the way for gay marriages to resume in California. 

Florida Representative Linda Stewart said the decisions are good news for the movement as a whole, but supporters of gay marriage in Florida have plenty of work ahead.

Jessica Palombo / WFSU-FM

A bill that would legalize domestic partnerships in Florida is having a hearing on Tuesday after being drastically reworked following debate last month. The bill would grant domestic partners a small fraction of the rights given to married couples.

In 2007, Janice Langbehn flew from Washington state to Miami with her partner, Lisa, and three of their children. The family was going on a cruise to celebrate the couple’s 18-year anniversary. But shortly after boarding the ship, 39-year-old Lisa suddenly collapsed.

It’s been five years since Floridians voted to define marriage as one man and one woman in the state constitution. But this year, bills that would ban discriminating against gay people and allow them to enter into domestic partnerships are getting bipartisan support in the Legislature. Supporters of the bills say the Legislature seems to be changing its attitude toward equality.

Tuesday will be the first time a Florida legislative committee will consider allowing domestic partnerships for all couples, gay or straight.