The long road to marriage equality has been bumpy, up to the bitter end

By : Jamie Hyman, Steve Blanchard and Samantha Rosenthal
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Gail Foreman and Pat Cummins have waited nearly a quarter-century for 2015. This is the year the Sarasota couple may actually get legally married in their home state. But their plans for a Jan. 6 wedding on Sarasota County’s courthouse steps skidded to a halt over the holidays when confusion arose over which counties could and couldn’t issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

“We have our ducks in a row and we’re ready,” Foreman says. “We did our online premarital test already to avoid the three-day waiting period for a license.”

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Federal judge rules Montana’s same-sex marriage ban unconstitutional

By : Wire Report
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HELENA, Mont. (AP) — A federal judge in Montana on Nov. 19 overturned the state’s gay marriage ban.

U.S. District Judge Brian Morris ruled that Montana’s constitutional amendment limiting marriage to between a man and a woman violates the 14th Amendment’s Equal Protection Clause.

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Judge overturns Missouri ban on same-sex marriage

By : Wire Report
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St. Louis – A state judge overturned Missouri’s constitutional ban on gay marriage Nov. 5 in a ruling that immediately set off a rush among some same-sex couples to apply for marriage licenses.

St. Louis Circuit Judge Rex Burlison said in a written ruling that Missouri’s measure recognizing marriage only between a man and woman violates the due process and equal protection rights of the U.S. Constitution. The decision mirrored ones handed down recently in several other states.

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Virginia AG to ask Supreme Court to review same-sex marriage ban

By : Wire Report
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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) – Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring said he will ask the Supreme Court to review a decision that struck down the state’s ban on same-sex marriage, although he supports the lower court’s decision.

The Democrat has chosen not to defend the state’s law, but has also asked for 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to stay its decision because he believes there could be unintended consequences. Herring’s office said it planned to make its filing seeking a Supreme Court review on Aug. 8.

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Second judge rules Florida’s marriage ban unconstitutional

By : Steve Blanchard
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Miami – A second judge this month has ruled that the voter-initiated ban on same-sex marriages in Florida is unconstitutional. Judge Sarah Zabel released her decision on July 25, almost three weeks after hearing arguments July 2 in a lawsuit filed by the Equality Florida Institute and six same-sex couples.

“To deny this fundamental freedom on so unsupportable a basis as the . . . classifications embodied in these statutes, classifications so directly subversive of the principle of equality at the heart of the Fourteenth Amendment, is surely to deprive all the State’s citizens of liberty without due process of law,” Zabel wrote in her decision. “The Fourteenth Amendment requires that the freedom of choice to marry not be restricted by invidious . . . discriminations.”

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Judge asked to lift stay on Monroe County marriages

By : Jamie Hyman
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UPDATE! Florida attorney general has filed a response to the request to lift the stay on Monroe County marriages.

“The United States Supreme Court has issued orders staying lower court decisions regarding same-sex marriage lawsuits. So have several federal courts of appeals. And
many trial courts have stayed their orders on their own. They have all acted to maintain the status quo while the issues presented are resolved. This Court should likewise maintain the status quo and leave the automatic stay in place until further appellate proceedings are concluded,” the response reads, after stating that “This Court should deny the motion.”

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7.17.14 Editor’s Desk

By : Steve Blanchard
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SteveBlanchardHeadshot_137x185Lately, it seems like everyone is focused on marriage equality. It’s sweeping the country and state constitutional bans on same-sex marriage have fallen one after another, thanks to last year’s Supreme Court ruling invalidating the Defense of Marriage Act prohibition of marriage equality.

Now, it’s Florida’s turn. Any day now, a ruling will come out of Miami on two cases challenging our state’s 2008 ban on marriage equality. Equality Florida and six same-sex couples had their day in court on July 2. On July 7, a male couple from Key West had their case heard in Monroe County.

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‘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.

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New Hampshire court rules in favor of ex-partner of girl’s birth mother

By : Wire Report
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CONCORD, N.H. (AP) – The New Hampshire Supreme Court ruled July 2 that the ex-partner of a 12-year-old’s girl’s mother has made her case to be considered a parent under the law.

The unanimous ruling makes New Hampshire the fourth state in the country to extend similar parental protections to same-sex parents, including a parent with no biological tie to the child.

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Indiana marriage equality ruling could come soon

By : Wire Report
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INDIANAPOLIS (AP) – A federal judge’s lengthy deliberations on whether to stay his ruling recognizing a same-sex Indiana couple’s marriage could signal that a broader decision is coming, legal experts say.

The state asked U.S. District Judge Richard Young for the stay on May 8, the same day he granted a preliminary injunction requiring Indiana to recognize the marriage of Amy Sandler and Niki Quasney.

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Gov. Scott: Supreme Court ruling doesn’t change things in FL

By : Staff Report
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Florida governor Rick Scott is sounding off on the United States Supreme Court rulings striking down DOMA and dismissing Prop 8, saying that Amendment 2, Florida’s ban on same-sex marriage, still holds strong.

“In 2008, Florida voters amended our constitution and said that we are a traditional marriage state, that marriage is between a man and a woman,” Scott told reporters after the decision was announced. “As the governor of this state, I’ll uphold the law of the land, and that’s the law of our state.”

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