US: Judge rejects Florida gays’ request to allow same-sex weddings to begin
A judge has rejected a request by two gay men to allow same-sex marriages to begin in the state of Florida.
A ruling in favour of same-sex marriage by Circuit Judge Luis M Garcia, came last week after a legal challenge to Florida’s same-sex marriage ban by six gay couples. Attorney General Pam Bondi has since appealed, meaning same-sex marriages would not begin today.
In an 11-page brief, attorneys acting for the two men, Aaron Huntsman and James Lee Jones, today asked Judge Garcia to lift the ban and allow same-sex marriages to begin in Monroe County, where the ruling applied.
Judge Garcia on Tuesday rejected the request.
“Based on decisions of the United States Supreme Court and other courts to stay proceedings in similar challenges, this court DENIES the Emergency Motion,” Garcia wrote.
“The automatic stay, currently in place, shall remain in place until completion of appellate proceedings or until further order of this Court.”
Florida’s same-sex marriage ban was approved by voters in 2008, but the lawsuit argues that it violates same-sex couples’ guarantee of equal protection under the law, as dictated by the US Constitution.
Attorney general Pam Bondi, and supporters of the ban, argued that the amendment should be respected, because it was voter approved. Bondi argued that the state has the authority to define marriage there.