11th Circuit will wait for Supreme Court decision on same-sex marriage bans

By : Staff Report
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Same-sex couples can continue to get married in Florida and begin tying the knot in Alabama on Feb. 9, thanks to a Feb. 4 decision by the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals.

The court issued a stay on any further action in the federal cases challenging bans on marriages for same-sex couples until the United States Supreme Court rules on the issue later this year. The 11th Circuit is currently hearing an appeal brought by Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi seeking to reverse a District Court ruling striking down Florida’s marriage ban, as well as two appeals from Alabama.

The Alabama attorney general has asked the Supreme Court to intervene and issue a stay. If the high court does so, it would mean that same-sex couples in Alabama would not be able to start getting married this Monday. One the other hand, if the high court refuses to stay the lower court rulings, Alabama would become the 37th state in the United States to allow same-sex marriages.

“[This] decision by the 11th Circuit to put the marriage cases on hold will have no impact on same-sex couples in Florida who, as a result of Judge Hinkle’s ruling taking effect last month, are enjoying the freedom to marry throughout the state,” said Daniel Tilley, ACLU of Florida attorney in a statement. “While we were prepared to argue before the 11th Circuit why Judge Hinkle ruling was correct, we are pleased that this victory for loving couples remains in effect.”

That means all eyes are now on the U.S. Supreme Court to rule whether all 50 states must drop same-sex marriage bans.

“Now, we are looking forward to the Supreme Court hearing these cases at the end of April and the possibility of a nationwide resolution to the marriage equality issue by the end of June,” Tilley added.

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