Florida attorney general Pam Bondi files motion to continue stay on Florida same-sex marriages

By : Jamie Hyman
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Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi has filed a motion to keep same-sex marriage on hold in Florida.

Bondi had a deadline of midnight tonight to respond to a request from the American Civil Liberties Union to lift a stay on Florida cases fighting for marriage equality.

The motion, filed today, states that there is “a substantial public interest in a stay,” citing the importance of “stability of law.”

“In a continuation of the effort to maintain uniformity and order throughout Florida until final resolution of the numerous challenges to the voter-approved constitutional amendment on marriage, the motion filed today asks that the Court continue the stay until the federal appeals court can review the decision,” said Attorney General’s office communications director Jenn Meale in a media release. “There is currently an appeal pending in the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals.”

The Oct. 24 deadline stems from Grimsley and Albu v. Scott, a case filed by the American Civil Liberties Union on behalf of eight married same-sex couples and SAVE, a South Florida LGBT rights organization. The case fights for marriage recognition for gay couples legally married out-of-state.

On Aug. 21, U.S. District Judge Robert L. Hinkle ruled that Florida’s ban on same-sex marriage is unconstitutional. As in other Florida marriage equality cases, an appeal by Florida attorney general Pam Bondi meant a stay was placed on the ruling. On Oct. 6, when the U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear same-sex marriage appeals from five states, it opened the door for the ACLU to attempt to kill Florida’s stay on marriage.

According to the ACLU, the decision is now in Judge Hinkle’s hands. He’ll be briefed by both sides, and then Baylor Johnson, ACLU of Florida director of communications, said he expects a ruling soon.

“We expect that decision soon, and we’re certainly hopeful, based on what happened at the Supreme Court earlier this month, that the judge will lift the stay and that marriage will finally be allowed to win in Florida,” he said.

Read the full motion here.

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