Florida: 5 Things To Know For July 2nd

Your daily look at news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about today.

HEARING ON CHALLENGE TO FLORIDA GAY MARRIAGE BAN

Attorneys for gay couples and the state of Florida are squaring off at a hearing on a lawsuit challenging Florida’s constitutional ban on same-sex marriage. Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Sarah Zabel was scheduled Wednesday afternoon to hear arguments in the high-profile case. Like others filed across the country, the lawsuit contends the gay marriage ban added by voters to the state constitution is discriminatory and violates equal protection guarantees.

COUSTEAU ENDS ‘MISSION 31′ IN FLORIDA KEYS

Fabien Cousteau is preparing to ascend from the bottom of the ocean after spending 31 days underwater in the Florida Keys. Cousteau and his team of filmmakers and scientists started decompression Tuesday afternoon inside Aquarius Reef Base, 63 feet below the ocean’s surface.

FLORIDA MEDICAID PRIVATIZATION UNDERWAY STATEWIDE

More than three million Medicaid recipients around the state are transitioning into managed care under Florida’s massive overhaul to privatize its Medicaid program. The change comes three years after the Legislature voted to privatize the program, saying the $23 billion a year bill was consuming the budget.

FLORIDA IMMIGRANT ADVOCATES AID CENTRAL AMERICAN YOUTH

Local immigrant advocates and officials say Florida could play a key role in handling the influx of unaccompanied Central American youth crossing the U.S. border. Miami U.S. Rep. Joe Garcia said Tuesday that Florida has long welcomed immigrants fleeing natural and political upheaval in their home countries.

WHALE ACTIVISTS APPEAL DISMISSAL OF LOLITA LAWSUIT

Animal rights groups are appealing the dismissal of a lawsuit aimed at releasing Lolita the killer whale from Miami Seaquarium. People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals announced the filing Tuesday. The lawsuit challenged the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s automatic renewal of Miami Seaquarium’s Animal Welfare Act license, allowing it to exhibit Lolita.

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