Florida Marriage Equality Comes to the Keys

Written by scott on July 18th, 2014

FloridaA judge in Key West just ruled in favor of marriage equality, one of three pending rulings in the state.

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.

Find more articles and gay wedding resources in Florida.


1 Comments so far ↓

  1. Kenn says:

    My partner of almost 35 years and husband of almost five years and I have owned a condominium in Wynwood/Edgewater(Miami)since 2005. Although it has been rented ever since that date as we were both employed full time in New York City where we were born and raised and maintain legal primary residency, it is our desire, now that we are both retired, to live most of the year in Florida. However, non-recognition of our marital status in the Sunshine State has been the overriding factor in our not becoming legal residents of Florida. We would like to spend more than six months of the year in Miami but hesitate to do so until Florida recognizes marriage equality. We are hoping this will become a reality in the next two years which is when we would like to make this a reality. This latest turn of events in Key West is a ray of hope.

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