US: Florida courts forced to decide on same-sex marriage
Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi’s request that two same-sex marriage cases be delayed, until a US Supreme Court Ruling was issued on the matter, was denied by a Miami-based appeals court.
Attorney General Bondi attempted to appeal the rulings, by two separate courts, that Florida’s ban on same-sex marriage was unconstitutional. The two cases (Huntsman v. Heavilin and Pareto v. Ruvin) are moving ahead according to a ruling handed down by the 3rd District Court of Appeals.
Broward and Palm Beach counties issued similar rulings on the constitutionality of the ban approved by voters in 2008. Florida’s 2nd District Court asked that the Florida Supreme Court decide the outcome of the ban state-wide instead of waiting for the US Supreme Court.
Judge Robert L Hinkle of Tallahassee ruled the ban unconstitutional as it violates equal protection and due process under the US Constitution. Hinkle stayed the ruling until the outcome of the appeals.
Since the US Supreme Courts struck down the Defense of Marriage Act’s definition of marriage as being between on man and one woman, a minimum of 30 state and federal courts have ruled against same-sex marriage bans.
The Florida Supreme Court is expected to address the case in its next session beginning in October.
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