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Column

Governor's act is good enough for state fair

By SUE CARLTON
Published February 19, 2007


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In an act worthy of the Florida State Fair, Gov. Charlie Crist did a little tightrope walking last week.

The subject was same-sex marriage, a lighter-fluid social issue, which, of course, has nada to do with any real troubles in our state.

Crist gently said as much and may have riled some folks.

These are the people who, mystifyingly, are against allowing a person to marry whomever he or she wants to marry if said person happens to be of the same gender. It's not enough that this is already against state law; they want it in the state Constitution.

Gov. Reasonable said he was against the spending of any more Republican money on a push for the ban. Asked if the people should be allowed to vote on it, he deftly sidestepped with, "We only have so much time. And we have to prioritize what we put our energy into."

Well said. But what's got to rankle is that Crist himself signed a petition supporting the ban when he was running.

Will Mr. Fixit be able to maintain his balance? Maybe he can distract the crowds with all those plates he's juggling, like insurance, elections, taxes and crime.

* * *

Speaking of the fair and things homegrown, our own Sen. Ronda Storms is showing her colors in Tally. (She's been a there a couple of months now - what took her so long?)

The former Hillsborough commissioner infamous for her ban on gay pride now wants to make it harder for a girl to get a legal abortion without parental permission.

Girls 17 and younger can ask a judge to waive the requirement. The judge can decide based on whether she is "sufficiently mature" to make the decision, was abused by a parent or guardian, or whether it's in her best interests that her parents are not notified.

In Storms World, it makes sense to have the judge also factor in a girl's "ability to understand and explain (emphasis added) the medical consequences of terminating her pregnancy," "to accept responsibility" and "to assess the future consequences of her choices," among other things. Think having to go through all that might dissuade some of them?

* * *

Lately when the news has started to hurt my head, I have gone to the Florida State Fair. (Hurry - today's the last day.)

What, too snooty for the fair? You don't know what you're missing. You've got 4-H kids and their cows, beautiful blow-dried chickens and bunnies, the best french fries on the planet, Ferris wheels and sky buckets and country music, teenage boys spending big bucks to dunk a potty-mouth clown or win a stuffed monkey. Norman Rockwell meets Larry the Cable Guy.

My Manhattan friend Marty joins me yearly for this romp; she favors candy apples and whack-a-mole therapy. Last year her lawyer husband Barry gamely joined us.

We did have a few Green Acres moments (Fresh air! Times Square!). He asked the fellow selling roasted corn if that liquid in the can into which he was dipping each ear was "real butter." (Barry later pointed out the ironic proximity of actual dairy cows, which, if you think about it, is a good point.)

At the strawberry shortcake booth, he inquired whether they served "real" whipped cream. Sure, the girl behind the counter said, palming the squirt bottle of Reddi-wip like it was a nice Cotes Du Rhone. I love the fair.

[Last modified February 19, 2007, 05:31:07]


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