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Chris Tobar Rodriguez

ICYMI: LGBTQ advocates call out Rick Scott, the Sabal Trail pipeline starts pumping, Florida has a new medical marijuana law and more 

Advocates take on Rick Scott for failing to sign LGBTQ anti-discrimination order after Pulse:

A year after a gunman murdered 49 people at the gay nightclub Pulse, LGBTQ advocates say Gov. Rick Scott broke his promise by failing to sign an order that would protect state employees against discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity. Leaders with Equality Florida and state Rep. Carlos Guillermo Smith say in the days following the mass shooting, they met privately with Scott's staff to ask the governor to sign an executive order. Smith said the governor's team promised they would take action. But months after one of the worst hate crimes against LGBTQ people, Scott hasn't done squat except for proclaiming June 12 as "Pulse Remembrance Day." In response, Scott's office issued a statement saying, "Florida is a state that does not tolerate discrimination of any form."

Sabal Trail pipeline starts pumping natural gas to Florida:

Despite constant protests and the continuing outcry from environmental advocates, the 515-mile Sabal Trail pipeline started pumping natural gas to Florida from Alabama on June 14. The $3.2 billion project from Spectra Energy snakes through Alabama, Georgia and down to Central Florida to connect with a compressor station near Reunion and a smaller pipeline through the Kissimmee and Hunter's Creek areas. The pipeline tunnels underground to sit above the Floridan aquifer, which is the primary drinking source for millions who live in the state. Environmentalists have long said the Sabal Trail pipeline could potentially jeopardize the source of clean water for millions and threaten Florida's natural environment.

Florida has a new medical marijuana law, but smoking is still barred:

Gov. Rick Scott signed a bill last week implementing a plan for the medical marijuana amendment voters approved last November. While the law resolves issues lawmakers had with growers and dispensing outlets, it still bans patients from smoking medical cannabis. Orlando attorney John Morgan, who financed pro-Amendment 2 efforts, has indicated that he will sue to overturn the ban.

Orlando holds anti-violence vigil in honor of slain Muslim teen:

As Ramadan came to an end last week, Muslim organizations and other advocates held an anti-violence vigil for Nabra Hassanen, a 17-year-old Muslim girl from Virginia who was kidnapped and beaten to death with a baseball bat as she left the mosque with friends. "It is our duty to make sure no one ever goes though the same thing that Nabra went through," said 14-year-old Zyba Sheikh. "We shouldn't have to be afraid to walk with our hijabs from the mosque. We shouldn't have to be afraid to make it clear that we are Muslim. No one should ever have to hide their identity."


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