Living Loud: History Awaits… And A Day Of Reckoning

By : Mary Meeks
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MaryMeeksHeadshotHopes are high that Florida’s ban on same-sex marriage will soon go down in flames, as the historic lawsuit (Pareto v. Ruvin) challenging Florida’s reprehensible ban takes center stage on July 2 in a courtroom in the Miami-Dade Circuit Court. My legal colleagues and I, and our clients—6 amazing couples and the Equality Florida Institute—walk into that courtroom with momentum, and justice, on our side.

Marriage equality currently exists in 19 states and the District of Columbia, covering nearly 44% of the United States population, and is legal pending appeals in another 13 states. Court decisions in 3 other states require recognition of out-of-state marriages. There have been 22 straight court victories in favor of marriage equality, including the first appeals court affirmation in the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals.

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Guest column: Countdown to Equality

By : Mary Meeks
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MaryMeeksHeadshotWe may very well be on the cusp of a Watershed Moment here in Florida. In a state that currently offers no statewide legal recognition whatsoever for the hundreds of thousands of families headed by same-sex couples residing here, full marriage equality may well be on the horizon. In January 2014, 6 same-sex couples and Equality Florida Institute filed a historic lawsuit in Miami-Dade County Circuit Court challenging Florida’s same-sex marriage ban (Pareto v. Ruvin*), and subsequent lawsuits were filed in Florida federal court challenging Florida’s ban on recognizing same-sex marriages performed elsewhere.

These Florida courts will soon decide whether to join the unanimous opinions of every court in the nation that has addressed the issue in the past 10 months, by ruling that Florida’s bans on same-sex marriage violate the federal constitution. If so, it will be a landmark judicial affirmation of our right to human dignity and legal equality, and will end an ignominious chapter of legislative discrimination that no longer reflects the views of most Floridians.

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Anti-gay forces are a tangled web of false pretense, fake names and hidden connections

By : Jamie Hyman
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Last month a notorious pro-religion, anti-gay legal group called Liberty Counsel filed a motion to intervene in Pareto v. Ruvin, the Florida lawsuit via which six same-sex couples are fighting for marriage equality. The motion wasn’t a surprise—no one expected anti-gay activists to take the lawsuit sitting down. But a look at the three groups named as interveners reveals something interesting.

Two of the three groups—People United to Lead the Struggle for Equality (P.U.L.S.E) and Florida Democratic League—sound an awful lot like the types of organizations that would be more likely to support same-sex marriage than fight marriage equality.

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