~~December 3, 2014~~
Same-sex marriages in Florida could begin Jan. 6 following appeals court decision
By Steve Rothaus, Miami Herald
Wednesday, December 3, 2014 4:12pm
Same-sex couples in Florida could begin marrying next month, after a federal appeals court ruled Wednesday that a stay in the state’s gay-marriage ban case will be lifted at the end of the day Jan. 5.
11th Circuit Court of Appeals refuses to extend ban on same-sex marriages in Florida
In a two-page ruling, a three-judge panel of the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta turned down a request by Florida’s secretaries of health and management services and the clerk of the court in the Panhandle’s Washington County to extend the stay. A federal judge based in Tallahassee ruled in August that the state’s gay-marriage ban is unconstitutional, but stayed his decision until Jan. 5 to give the state time to appeal.
“This is a clear victory for us because it finds the harm is being done to the people, not the state,” said Howard Simon, executive director of the ACLU of Florida, which is representing same-sex couples from throughout Florida and gay-rights group SAVE, who sued to have out-of-state same-sex marriages recognized in the Sunshine State.
“It means that relief is finally in sight for the same-sex married couples suffering under Florida’s refusal to recognize their legal unions,” SAVE executive director Tony Lima said in a statement.
On Aug. 21, U.S. Judge Robert L. Hinkle of Tallahassee threw out the gay-marriage ban in Florida’s Constitution — which was approved by 62 percent of voters in 2008 — calling it “an obvious pretext for discrimination.”
“Liberty, tolerance, and respect are not zero-sum concepts,” Hinkle wrote at the time. “Those who enter opposite-sex marriages are harmed not at all when others, including these plaintiffs, are given the liberty to choose their own life partners and are shown the respect that comes with formal marriage.” He stayed his decision to give Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi time to appeal.
Bondi then asked the appeals court — which has yet to set a date to hear the case — to keep the stay in place past Jan. 5 until the court decides on the merits.
Same-sex couples throughout Florida sued to dismantle the state’s gay-marriage ban. In addition to the cases in federal and Miami-Dade circuit courts, same-sex couples prevailed in Monroe and Palm Beach counties. Bondi filed state appeals in all cases. A Broward case, in which a lesbian won the right to divorce her same-sex domestic partner, was vacated on a legal technicality and will be retried.
After Bondi lost her bid to keep the federal stay in place, the national group Freedom to Marry said she could seek a stay from the U.S. Supreme Court, but that the high court is unlikely to grant it because it has already denied similar requests for stay extensions in South Carolina, Alaska, Idaho and Kansas.
So far this year, same-sex marriage became legal in 18 additional states, bringing the total to 35, plus Washington, D.C.
Wednesday’s decision in Atlanta was written by three 11th District judges: Frank M. Hull of Atlanta, Charles R. Wilson of Tampa and Adalberto Jordan of Miami. President Bill Clinton appointed Hull and Wilson to the 11th Circuit in 1997 and 1999, respectively; President Barack Obama appointed Jordan in 2012.
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#AtTheEndOfTheDay #MarriageEqualityFlorida #FederalJudge #StruckDownBan #SteveRothaus #Miami Herald #11thCircuitCourtOfAppeals #BanUnconstitutional #ClearVictory #HowardSimon #ExecutiveDirectorACLUFlorida #FloridaAttorneyGeneral #PamBondi #JudgeRobertLHinkle #LoveIsLove #LoveBeautifulAllForms #SharonGless #GetEngagedOrg #SAVE
#WeAllAreOne #ItIsWhatItIs #DrRex
We ALL are ONE!!
~Sharon Gless Speaks Out in Favor of Marriage Equality in Florida~
~Published on Feb 25, 2014~
A conversation with Actress Sharon Gless about her commitment to marriage equality.
~Published on Feb 21, 2014~
Actress Sharon Gless speaks out in favor of marriage equality in Florida and encourages others to join Equality Florida and GetEngaged.org.
We ALL are ONE!!