John M. Becker

BREAKING: Florida Marriage Ban Struck Down AGAIN

Filed By John M. Becker | July 25, 2014 6:15 PM | comments

Filed in: Marriage Equality, Politics
Tags: Florida, gay marriage, marriage discrimination, marriage equality, same-sex marriage

florida-gay-flag.jpgFor the second time in eight days, Florida's marriage discrimination amendment has been struck down in state court. This time it's in Miami-Dade county, in the lawsuit brought by Equality Florida and the National Center for Lesbian Rights (more case info here). The ruling, which reportedly applies only to Miami-Dade County, has been stayed pending appeal.

Marriage equality advocates are now 28 for 28 in the post-Windsor era.

According to NBC Miami, Judge Sarah Zabel says in her ruling that the state's ban on same-sex marriage "offends basic human dignity." My favorite line, though, is this:

"The answer to the question of whether it is constitutionally permissible to deprive same-sex couples of the right to marry has become increasingly obvious: Of course it is not."

Another wonderful step forward for marriage equality in the Sunshine State!

Judge Zabel's full ruling is after the break, via Equality Case Files.

UPDATE: Another great excerpt from the ruling --

"In 1776, our Nation's Founders went to war in pursuit of a then-novel, yet noble, goal: the creation of a government that recognizes its people are 'endowed . . . with certain inalienable rights' and that all are equal in the eyes of the law. THE DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE, para. 2 (U.S. 1776). Unfortunately, history shows that prejudice corrupted the implementation of these ideals and that the corrective wheels of justice turn at a glacial pace. Slavery, for instance, plagued this nation from the time of its birth, and it took a bloody civil war, nearly one hundred years later, to break free from this malady. Segregation, though, took slavery's place, and it was not until the 1960s that we rid ourselves of this similarly horrible disease. Women too, had to fight for equality, and it was not until 1920 that they were first able to vote. Nevertheless, like race, it was not until the social unrest of the 1960s that gender equality had any meaning. The Native Americans also faced rampant discrimination until the 1960s and 1970s as well.

"Notably absent from this protracted march towards social justice was any progress for the gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender community until quite recently. However, as evidenced by the avalanche of court decisions unanimously favoring marriage equality, the dam that was denying justice on this front has been broken. The Court, nonetheless, recognizes that its decision today is divisive and will cause some Floridians great discomfort. This decision, though, "is not made in defiance of the great people of [Florida] or the [Florida] Legislature, but in compliance with the United States Constitution and Supreme Court precedent. Without a rational relation to a legitimate governmental purpose, state-imposed inequality can find no refuge in our United States Constitution."

14-1661 Decision by Equality Case Files

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