Pensacola, Florida
Friday October 31st 2014

Follow the Blog

On Sale:

Archives

Buzz: SCOTUS by Candlelight


By Jeremy Morrison

During the final week of March, the U.S. Supreme Court dives into a pair of marriage equality cases. Sara Latshaw, regional organizer for the local chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union, is excited about the prospects.

“I think this is a real time for change,” she said.

Latshaw is helping organize a candlelight vigil scheduled before the court gets down to business.

“There’s no way to tell what the outcome will be, but I hope the Supreme Court will make the right decision,” she said. “I’m so hopeful, and I want to see things move in the right direction so badly.”

On March 26, the court will consider overturning California’s Proposition 8. The next day, they will tackle the Defense of Marriage Act.

In 2008, California voters passed Proposition 8, which added a new provision to the state constitution which stated “only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California.”

The proposition overturned an earlier California Supreme Court ruling, which had found that same-sex couples did have the right to marry. In 2010, the measure was challenged in court, found to be unconstitutional and overturned. The decision was appealed, upheld, and again appealed, this time to the U.S. Supreme Court.

The Defense of Marriage Act—or DOMA—passed both houses of congress and was signed into law by President Bill Clinton in 1996. It defines marriage as the legal union between one man and one woman. Like Proposition 8, DOMA has weathered the courts and is now headed to the highest in the land.

In 2011, President Barack Obama’s administration let it be known it considered DOMA unconstitutional. The administration would no longer defend it in court.

As the court prepares to hear the two cases, demonstrations of support for marriage equality are being planned around the country. Locally, a candlelight vigil is scheduled for 6 p.m., March 25 in downtown Pensacola’s Martin Luther King, Jr. Plaza.

Jonathan Franqui, who’s husband is stationed locally in the military, will be among the featured speakers at the event.

“We’re lighting the candles to light the way to justice, but it also shows we are here,” Franqui said. “There’s light at the end of it. This is going to be such a powerful moment.”

Buzzing on the Blog

The How Of The Y
City Attorney Jim Messer is left hanging by Mayor Ashton Hayward and City Administrator as he tries to explain how the proposed YMCA lease for the Community Maritime Park was developed.

Valentino In Line for Lt. Governor?
Escambia County Commissioner Gene Valentino wants to be Rick Scott’s next Lt. Governor, and his prospects have been discussed and joked about by courthouse insiders.

Was Lt. Governor Carroll forced out of office?
Art Rocker, chairman of the Florida Southern Christian Leadership Conference believes so. In a statement to the media, Rocker hinted that the first African-American female to hold the office of Lt. Governor may have been forced to resign because she might have switched political parties.

Chamber Chair Gives BP Gift Card Update
Sandy Sansing, chairmen of the Greater Pensacola Chamber, sent an email to the chamber board and its Vision 2015 partners to ensure them that a comprehensive audit is under way by Saltmarsh, Cleaveland & Gund, CPAs, to fully examine records to determine the number of gift cards received by the chamber, when and to whom they were dispersed and their current status.

Bennett files to run for School Board
The former president of the Escambia County chapter of Southern Christian Leadership Conference, Ellison Bennett, has pre-filed to run for the District 3 seat on the Escambia County School Board. Bennett pledged to work for civil citations for young offenders and better school guidance to help more students graduate from the school district.

Gaetz Speaks Out Against Internet Cafes
After law enforcements arrested people tied to a network of Internet cafes for operating illegal gambling operations, Florida Senate President Don Gaetz (R-Niceville) said he supported legislation to ban such cafes in Florida. He also said he would conduct a “top to bottom” review of his own campaign contributions as well as funds raised by the Republican Senate Majority for the Republican Party of Florida during the 2012 cycle for any contributions from the cafes’ lobbyists and political action committees.

To read more on this posts, check out Ricksblog.biz.