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Tampa gay couple marry in Rep. Castor's Washington office

From left, U.S. Federal District Court Judge Susan C. Bucklew married Mark Anderson and Keith Bucklew on Thursday in the office of Rep. Kathy Castor, D-Tampa.

Courtesy of U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor’s office

From left, U.S. Federal District Court Judge Susan C. Bucklew married Mark Anderson and Keith Bucklew on Thursday in the office of Rep. Kathy Castor, D-Tampa.

Mark Anderson and Keith Bucklew, a gay couple from Tampa, can't get married in Florida. So they went to Washington on Thursday for a ceremony held at the office of Rep. Kathy Castor, D-Tampa.

"We were happy and honored to welcome Mark and Keith to my office in Washington for their special occasion," U.S. Rep. Castor said in a release. U.S. Federal District Court Judge Susan C. Bucklew, Keith's sister-in-law, traveled from Florida to perform the ceremony.

Mark and Keith have been partners for more than seven years and live in Tampa, according to Castor's office. Mark is a retired engineer and now serves on various boards, including Equality Florida. Keith is a Tampa native and owner of an architectural and interior design business.

"When same-sex couples wed in states (or the district) where their marriage is legally recognized — even if they reside in a nonrecognition state — they qualify for the same federal benefits that all married couples have enjoyed," Castor said. "Hopefully, Florida law and the state constitution will soon recognize marriage equality. Last year's court ruling on DOMA was an important step, but a patchwork of laws exists on the state level."

McCain backs Bush on education

It seems there is no one Jeb Bush has not talked to recently about education.

Sen. John McCain tells us that he spoke with the former governor a couple of weeks ago on education policy.

"He's the smartest guy I know on education," McCain said in a brief interview in the U.S. Capitol. Asked if Bush's support for Common Core was an issue, McCain deflected. "What he did for education in Florida … that's a clear record of success."

Is he a viable candidate for president, there's a lot of question about the fact that …? "That his name is Bush?" McCain said, finishing the question. "Somebody else's name is Clinton."

Plan could change high court

This year's gubernatorial race could have even greater implications if a proposed constitutional amendment on Supreme Court appointments is also approved.

The Senate voted 26-14 on Thursday to place a question on the fall ballot that could mean an outgoing governor would make appointments to the Supreme Court for vacancies that are created the same day a new governor is sworn in.

That means if Gov. Scott is re-elected, he will be able to fill three vacancies expected to occur as he leaves office in 2019 because of a mandatory retirement age for justices.

Information from the Associated Press was used.

Tampa gay couple marry in Rep. Castor's Washington office 04/03/14 [Last modified: Thursday, April 3, 2014 8:44pm]
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