Fla. Gov Marries Amid Protests

Gays slam marriage ban as Crist weds New York socialite
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 13, 2008 6:32 AM CST
Protesters stage a demonstration across the street from the wedding of Florida Gov. Charlie Crist, and his new bride Carole Friday, Dec. 12, 2008 in St. Petersburg, Fla.   (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)
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(Newser) – Florida Gov. Charlie Crist married socialite Carole Rome last night as hundreds of people protested outside, the St. Petersburg Times reports. Most were from a group outraged by the governor’s support of Florida’s gay marriage ban, passed last month. Others protested the death of a St. Petersburg teen shot by police last summer.

"Congrats Charlie From 2nd class Floridian" read one sign held by a gay protester. Crist, who met Rome at a dinner in New York last fall, seemed unfazed by the protests as he emerged from the church with Florida's new first lady.  "It's a great night for Florida, it's a great night for us," he said to the crowd. "Free speech is alive and well.”