Around the South for July 10: HUD, VA & FL

HUD: New housing rules may stir controversy. The racial unrest of the past few months has focused not on new civil rights pushes, but on police conduct and the Confederate flag. But the new housing desegregation initiative promulgated by the Housing and Urban Development (HUD) may create a new racial battleground. While white Southern lawmakers have remained silent on this so far, other conservatives, such as US Rep. Paul Gosar (R-AZ) have not, describing new regulations as “President Obama’s most aggressive attempt yet to force his utopian ideology on American communities,” reports The Hill ……. Virginia: GOP concerned about gay marriage. Although opinion polls show Virginia voters are more supportive of gay matrimony than opposed (50% for, 42% against, said Quinnipiac in March), the Washington Post reports that Republican lawmakers in the state are contemplating legislation to protect local officials who have religious objections to same-sex marriage from having to perform them ……. Florida: Medical marijuana headed for ballot again. United for Care, a group that got medical marijuana on the 2014 ballot last year, when it was defeated, now says it is close to getting enough petition signatures to get the proposal on the 2016 statewide ballot, reports Sunshine State News …….