‘Decision Day’ gatherings planned across Florida to celebrate ruling on marriage equality

By : Christal Hayes
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Florida’s LGBT community and supporters are still waiting for the ruling that could change their lives.

A lawsuit was filed back in January by six same-sex couples and the Equality Florida Institute in the state courts of Miami, stating that Amendment 2 in the Florida Constitution banning same-sex marriages was unconstitutional. Miami Dade Circuit Court Judge Sarah Zabel heard arguments in that case July 2 and has yet to issue a ruling.
A gay couple in Monroe County filed a similar lawsuit against Monroe County City Clerk Amy Heavilin for refusing to issue a marriage license to the couple because of the ban on same-sex marriage. Aaron Huntsman and his partner William Lee Jones are being represented by Bernadette Restivo, an attorney with Restivo, Reilly & Vigil-Farinas, who modeled their lawsuit after the one filed in Miami. Court arguments in that case were July 7 and again, no ruling yet.

Both rulings are up to the discretion of the judge, and there is no way to predict when they will make a decision.

Equality Florida and other LGBT organizations are organizing “Decision Day” gatherings across the state to celebrate the cases regardless of the decisions.

There are 11 gatherings planned across Florida on the day of the decision at 6 p.m. Here is the list of locations secured so far:

FORT LAUDERDALE / WILTON MANORS
When: 6 p.m., Day of Decision
Where: The Pride Center at Equality Park, 2040 North Dixie Highway, Wilton Manors 33305

FORT MYERS
When: 6 p.m., Day of Decision
Where: Unitarian Universalist Church, 13411 Shire Lane, Fort Myers 33912

GAINESVILLE
When: 6 p.m., Day of Decision
Where: TBD

JACKSONVILLE
When: 6 p.m., Day of Decision
Where: Blue Fish, 3551 St. Johns Ave., Jacksonville 32205

KEY WEST
When: 6 p.m., Day of Decision
Where: Aqua Nightclub 711 Duval St., Key West 33040

MIAMI BEACH
When: 6 p.m., Day of Decision
Where: The courtyard of the LGBT Visitors Center, 1130 Washington Ave., Miami Beach 33139

NAPLES
When: 6 p.m., Day of Decision
Where: Celebration MCC, 3400 Radio Road, Unit 107 Naples 34104

ORLANDO
When: 6 p.m., Day of Decision
Where: The Hammered Lamb, 1235 N Orange Ave., Orlando 32804

SARASOTA / MANATEE / SUNCOAST
When: 6 p.m., Day of Decision
Where: Marina Jack’s, 2 Marina Plaza, Sarasota 34236

ST. PETERSBURG
When: 6 p.m., Day of Decision
Where: King of Peace MCC, 3150 5th Ave. N, St Petersburg 33713

TALLAHASSEE
When: 6 p.m., Day of Decision
Where: On the front steps of the Historic Florida Capitol, 400 S. Monroe St., Tallahassee 32399

UPPER KEYS
When: 6 p.m., Day of Decision
Where: Casa Mar Village by Fresh Press Cafe, Mile Marker 81 Oceanside, Tavernier, FL

TAMPA
When: 6 p.m., Day of Decision
Where: Unity Church of Tampa, 3302 W. Horatio St., Tampa 33609

WEST PALM BEACH
When: 4:30-6 p.m., Day of Decision
Where: Palm Beach County Courthouse, 205 North Dixie Highway, West Palm Beach 33401

To learn more or sign up to attend one of the gatherings visit Equality Florida’s website.

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