The Washington Blade reports:
A state judge in Florida issued a ruling Thursday enjoining state officials from enforcing the state’s same-sex marriage ban in the Florida Keys, but gay couples apparently won’t be able to wed anytime soon there because a notice of appeal was filed. In the latest of an unbroken string of victories in support of marriage equality, Monroe County Circuit Judge Luis Garcia issues summary judgment in favor same-sex couples in his jurisdiction challenging Florida’s ban on same-sex marriage. “This court is aware that the majority of voters oppose same-sex marriage, but it is our country’s proud history to protect the rights of the individual, the rights of the unpopular and the rights of the powerless, even at the cost of offending the majority,” Garcia writes.
There will apparently be no weddings in Key West for now:
Garcia enjoins the Monroe County clerk in the Florida Keys from enforcing the state’s ban on same-sex marriage, saying the clerk must begin giving marriage licenses to gay couples no later than Tuesday. But Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi has already filed a notice of appeal. The action from Bondi has made it so same-sex couples will not be able to obtain marriage licenses beginning at that time, according to Monroe County.
Not so fast, says the Sun-Sentinel:
How does Attorney General Pam Bondi’s appeal affect the ruling? “The appeal automatically stays the decision, unless the judge lifts the stay,” said Elizabeth Schwartz, the attorney in a Miami-Dade case where six same-sex couples are suing for the right to marry. “If the court decides to lift the stay, then yes, you can go and get married in Monroe County regardless of where you live.”
Former Governor Charlie Crist applauded the ruling.
On Top Magazine reports:
“This is a great step toward equality in Florida,” Crist tweeted to his more than 19,600 followers. “#LoveisLove.” Crist, who is currently campaigning for his old job as a Democrat, filed an amicus brief in support of a federal challenge to Florida’s marriage ban.
So now we wait and see if the judge lifts the automatic stay.