Following the reasoning of other state and federal judges, Monroe County Florida Chief Circuit Judge Luis M. Garcia ruled that Florida's ban on same sex marriage violates the rights of gays and lesbians under the United States Constitution. Not surprisingly, GOP Attorney General Pam
Bimbo Bondi has said that she will appeal the ruling in typical GOP political whore fashion as she prostitutes herself to Christofasist and hate groups. While the ruling appears limited to Monroe County - which includes Key West - it obviously puts more pressure on Florida to throw out its anti-gay animus based laws. Here are details from the Miami Herald:
In a decision some called “the beginning of the end” of Florida’s ban on gay marriage, a Monroe County judge ruled Thursday that two Key West bartenders and other gay couples must be allowed to marry.
Monroe County Chief Circuit Judge Luis M. Garcia ordered the county clerk’s office to begin issuing marriage licenses to gay couples as early as Tuesday morning. In doing so, he sided with Aaron Huntsman and William Lee Jones, who argued that the ban on same-sex marriage in the Florida Constitution violated their rights under the U.S. Constitution.
“The court is aware that the majority of voters oppose same-sex marriage, but it is our country’s proud history to protect the rights of the individual, the rights of the unpopular and rights of the powerless, even at the cost of offending the majority,” Garcia wrote in his opinion.
Though Garcia’s order applies only to Monroe County, it would allow same-sex couples from around the state to flock to the Keys to get married. Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi, however, quickly filed a notice of appeal Thursday, putting Garcia’s ruling on hold and leaving open the possibility that nothing will change next week unless Garcia forces the issue with further action.
Despite the uncertainty, Garcia’s ruling set off both a wave of celebration from Key West to Tallahassee and vows from conservative Christian groups to protect Florida’s definition of marriage as being between one man and one woman. Meanwhile, Democrats hoped to capitalize on the ruling, with the state party chairwoman declaring Thursday that “love wins.”
Huntsman and Jones, who met at a gay pride celebration and have been a couple for 11 years, told the Miami Herald they were “ecstatic.” The couple sued the Monroe County Clerk in April for a marriage license, and said the wait felt like forever.
Meanwhile, support flowed out from the state’s Democratic politicians.
Bondi’s opponent in the November election, Perry Thurston, called on the incumbent attorney general to “stop wasting taxpayer dollars on her ideological crusade” against same-sex marriage. Democratic candidate for governor Charlie Crist followed with his own statement: “Today was a great step towards equality in Florida.”
Crist, who held office as a Republican before becoming a Democrat in 2012, was governor when Florida passed the constitutional amendment banning the recognition of same-sex marriages. He has since called the ban “discriminatory.”
The dominoes continue to fall even as the Christofascists continue to force their sick, psychologically disturbed religious beliefs on all citizens. They are a threat to the religious liberties of others and need to become political and social pariahs.