ACLU fights to lift hold on marriage

By : Staff Report
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The American Civil Liberties Union is asking the U.S. Supreme Court to reject a request by the state to keep same-sex marriage in Florida on hold.

On Dec. 16, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas requested that the plaintiffs respond to Florida attorney general Pam Bondi’s attempt to extend the stay on same-sex marriages that would otherwise expire end of day Jan. 5, 2015. Thomas set a deadline of 5 p.m. Dec. 18 for that response.

“Governor Scott, his appointees, and Attorney General Pam Bondi’s efforts to delay the implementation of the order striking down the marriage ban are as senseless as they are incredibly harmful,” stated ACLU of Florida LGBT rights staff attorney Daniel Tilley in a media release. “Every day that the couples we represent and the thousands of families across Florida who are also denied the protections of marriage go without those protections, they are suffering real harm, as Judge Hinkle’s order made plainly clear. We are glad to have had the opportunity to explain to our nation’s highest court why it is time to let love win in Florida, and we are hopeful that the Court will reject Governor Scott and Attorney General Bondi’s increasingly-desperate efforts, just as it has refused all requests to stay rulings striking down discriminatory marriage bans since this October.”

On Dec. 3, the 11th District Court of Appeals denied the state’s previous request to extend a stay on same-sex marriages. U.S. District Judge Robert Hinkle ruled in August that Florida’s ban on same-sex marriage is unconstitutional.

That ruling is the result of two lawsuits. One, filed by the ACLU on behalf of eight married same-sex couples and SAVE, a South Florida LGBT rights organization, fought for the marriage recognition for gay couples legally married out-of-state. The other lawsuit was filed in Jacksonville on behalf of two couples, one who wants to get married and one who wants their marriage recognized in the state of Florida.

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