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Published On: Fri, Aug 22nd, 2014

Federal judge strikes down Florida’s gay marriage ban, it’s ‘obvious pretext for discrimination’

 A federal judge on Thursday declared Florida’s ban on same-sex marriage unconstitutional, joining state judges in four counties who have sided with same-sex couples.

"Lesbian" wedding mock-cake at the Roma Gay Pride in 2008. Picture by Stefano Bolognini via wikimedia commons.

“Lesbian” wedding mock-cake at the Roma Gay Pride in 2008. Picture by Stefano Bolognini via wikimedia commons.

U.S. District Judge Robert L. Hinkle in Tallahassee ruled that the ban added to Florida’s constitution by voters in 2008 violates the 14th Amendment’s guarantees of equal protection and due process. Hinkle issued a stay delaying the effect of his order, meaning no marriage licenses will be immediately issued for gay couples.

“When observers look back 50 years from now, the arguments supporting Florida’s ban on same-sex marriage, though just as sincerely held, will again seem an obvious pretext for discrimination,” Hinkle wrote in a 33-page ruling. “To paraphrase a civil rights leader from the age when interracial marriage was struck down, the arc of history is long, but it bends toward justice.”

Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi has appealed the previous rulings striking down the ban in Broward, Miami-Dade, Monroe and Palm Beach counties. Hinkle’s ruling allows time for appeals in the federal case. Bondi has said the Florida cases should await a final ruling on gay marriage by the U.S. Supreme Court.

The latest Florida ruling came in a pair of lawsuits that brought by gay couples seeking to marry in Florida and others who want to force Florida to recognize gay marriages performed legally in other states. Currently, 19 states and the District of Columbia permit same-sex marriage.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Florida, which represented some of the gay couples, said the tide of rulings makes legal same-sex marriage in Florida appear inevitable.

“We’re very pleased to see the ban held unconstitutional in such unequivocal terms so that all Florida families will soon finally have the same protections,” said ACLU staff attorney Daniel Tilley.

 Liberty Counsel, a law group that has defended Florida’s gay marriage ban, issued a statement from founder Mat Staver: “The judiciary, not marriage, is on trial. When judges issue opinions that natural marriage laws are unconstitutional, they lower the respect for the legal system. When people lose confidence in the courts, the courts will lose their influence. This decision has nothing to do with the Constitution. Floridians did not create, but rather affirmed, natural marriage. A judge’s opinion cannot deconstruct the natural created order of male and female.”

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About the Author

- Catherine "Kaye" Wonderhouse, a proud descendant of the Wunderhaus family is the Colorado Correspondent who will add more coverage, interviews and reports from this midwest area.

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  1. OrlandoChris says:

    Don’t be fooled by Crist, it would be a big mistake. Vote & support Adrian Wyllie.

  2. Orderly Protests Continue in Ferguson, Missouri as Troops Leave – Voice of America says:

    […] license.Florida Gay Marriage Ban Struck Down By Federal Judge, In a Major Ruling That …BustleFederal judge strikes down Florida's gay ma…The Global DispatchFederal judge strikes down Florida same-sex marriage banJacksonville Business […]

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