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There ought to be a law

Gov. Jeb Bush and the Florida Legislature moved quickly this week to pass "Steve and Mindy's Law," stopping the marriage of a Pinellas Park couple.

The law brought an emotional, last-minute reprieve for the bride's parents, who thought Mindy Louise Smith was making a terrible mistake.

The groom, Steve Burman, is an unemployed "media consultant." Smith, a marketing representative, has been supporting him since he moved in with her last year. He also smokes.

The nuptials were proceeding Saturday in a beachside ceremony at Pass-a-Grille when the preacher asked anyone with objections "to speak now or forever hold your peace."

House Speaker Johnnie Byrd, R-Plant City, raised his hand and handed the minister the new law, signed that morning by the governor.

The couple did have a marriage license, and the best man, an attorney, questioned the constitutionality of the Legislature's intervention.

Byrd said citing the Constitution as an excuse to limit the Legislature's power was "un-American."

"Our Constitution stands to serve the people, not the people left to serve the Constitution," he said.

Leaders in the House and Senate say intervening in the affairs of individual Floridians is easier and more satisfying than addressing larger social issues, such as school funding or medical care for poor children.

This week, the Legislature will consider "Floyd and Nanci's Law," which would bar Sun City Center residents Floyd and Nanci McCorkle from taking their annual trip to Dollywood and Branson, Mo.

The McCorkles' four adult children asked the state to intervene because they believe their father should "take Mom somewhere nice for a change."

The bill is expected to pass, but lawmakers first must reconcile differing House and Senate versions: The Senate wants to send the couple on a Caribbean cruise out of Port Everglades. The House version would send them to the Florida Panhandle, first to the dog track at Ebro, then to Panama City Beach for some fishing.

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