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Florida ‘refusing to pay’ legal fees after losing same-sex marriage battle

Nick Duffy August 17, 2015

Florida’s Attorney General Pam Bondi is refusing to pay legal fees to people who sued for same-sex marriage in the state.

The Republican was a fierce opponent of same-sex marriage until the very end, claiming in a legal brief that “disrupting Florida’s existing marriage laws would impose significant public harm”, and would cause “significant financial and logistical problems”.

The AG continued to fight against same-sex marriage until the very week that marriages began, filing desperate attempts to stall on the issue.

However, the thrice-married Ms Bondi – who was named ‘loser of the year’ for her sad attempts to stall equality – has indicated the state won’t be paying legal fees in the case.

Last week she objected to a motion from lawyers who sued for legal recognition for marriage, claiming that the state shouldn’t have to cover the cost of the appeals process because it dismissed it ‘voluntarily’ after the Supreme Court verdict.

Elizabeth White, a Jacksonville civil rights attorney, told the Tampa Bay Times: “It’s ludicrous.

“Quite frankly, the state vigorously litigated this. Now they’re saying, ‘We lost, but we don’t want to pay’.”

It is not known how large the legal bill will be for the case – but it could be as much as $500,000.

Attorney Stephen Rosenthal, who represented a number of couples in the case, said: “It really is the height of hypocrisy to argue we shouldn’t be entitled to fees when they put us through this.”

“They knew full well that if they lost, that they and, frankly taxpayers, would be on the hook for paying for their unwise legal defense of an unconstitutional law.”

More: attorney general, civil partnership, civil union, equal marriage, Florida, Gay, gay weddings, Law, lesbian, lesbian wedding, marriage, marriage equality, Pam Bondi, same sex weddings, Union, US, wedding

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