Florida Five: Appeal court won’t unblock gay marriage, Redistricting group asks for new election dates

Five of today’s top Florida political stories at your fingertips:

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AP Photo/Florida Keys News Bureau, Andy Newman

Appeal Court won’t unblock Florida gay marriage: Gay couples in the Florida Keys remain unable to legally marry after a state appeals court declined to intervene in their case. The Miami-based 3rd District Court of Appeal refused to invalidate a Monroe County judge’s decision temporarily preventing a wedding for Aaron Huntsman and William Lee Jones and other gay couples. Circuit Judge Luis Garcia last week ruled that Florida’s ban on same-sex marriage is unconstitutional because it discriminates against gay couples and violates the federal 14th Amendment’s guarantee of due process and equal protection under the law. Garcia’s initial order said marriage licenses could be issued to gays in Monroe County beginning Tuesday. Attorney General Pam Bondi immediately filed notice of appeal, triggering an automatic stay that prevents any gay marriages until a potentially months-long appeals process is sorted out.  Read more

David Jolly backers: You betrayed us by flipping on gay marriage: U.S. Rep. David Jolly’s position on same sex marriage wasn’t always entirely clear to people listening to him during his primary campaign against Kathleen Peters and general election campaign against Alex Sink, but some of his supporters say he could not have been clearer to them: He supported Florida’s ban on same-sex marriage. Now that Jolly clarified his position to say he personally believes marriage should be between a man and woman but believes Florida should allow same-sex marriages, some of these supporters are “profoundly disappointed” and calling on the Indian Shores Republican to apologize. Read more

On eve of redistricting hearing, group asks for new election dates; Legislature calls move ‘ambush’: In a move the Legislature called an “ambush,” a coalition of plaintiffs asked a judge Wednesday to change the 2014 election dates to ensure there is time to redraw the state’s congressional districts. After a two-week trial, Leon Circuit Judge Terry Lewis earlier this month ruled two of Florida’s 27-congressional districts were at odds with a constitutional amendment passed in 2010 that aimed to take politics out of the redistricting process. On the eve of a Thursday morning hearing set to decide what happens next, plaintiffs, led by the League of Women Voters of Florida, filed a motion asking Judge Terry Lewis to change the 2014 election dates to give the court time to draw new maps. Read more

Obamacare Continues to Divide Florida Delegation on Party Lines: Even though it’s been four years since it passed, President Barack Obama’s federal health-care law is still continuing to divide Florida’s congressional delegation on party lines. This week, U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., a possible Republican presidential candidate in 2016, pointed to two conflicting federal appeals court rulings over subsidies in President Barack Obama’s federal health-care law and said it proved the law was badly written. On Tuesday, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia ruled in a 2-1 decision that the IRS overextended subsidies for Americans who bought health care through the federal government’s online marketplace. Read more

DOH schedules second workshop on medical pot rules: The second workshop on the state’s proposed rule to implement new medical marijuana laws will be held Aug. 1. The rule carries out Senate Bill 1030, the so-called “Charlotte’s Web” bill, passed by the Legislature and approved by Gov. Rick Scott this spring. A second draft addressing issues raised at the first standing-room only workshop will be publicized by the end of the week. The law the Legislature approved authorizes five nurseries in Florida to cultivate and distribute marijuana for a limited number of ailments and medical issues. The Department of Health has proposed a lottery system in each region to give all eligible participants — including at least 41 growers that have operated consistently for 30 years — equal opportunity to win. Read more

Bonus: Grandma tapes couple having sex on crowded Florida beach

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Tom Tillison


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