In less than three weeks gay couples across the Sunshine State may be able to get married -- may. As we reported earlier this week, Attorney General Pam Bondi is pretty much doing everything in her legal power to pump the brakes, including an appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court. With the court showing signs they're willing to hear the case, the American Civil Liberties Union of Florida has filed legal briefs asking the highest court to back off.
The ACLU represents eight gay couples, as well as SAVE, a South Florida gay rights organization and a Fort Myers widow. Along with another group of plaintiffs representing couples from Jacksonville, the ACLU is hoping to convince the high court to not extend a stay on a federal court decision shooting down Florida's gay marriage ban. The recent response brief is embedded below.
"Every day that the couples we represent and the thousands of families across Florida who are also denied the protections of marriage go without those protections, they are suffering real harm," ACLU attorney Daniel Tilley stated this week in a release.
"We are glad to have had the opportunity to explain to our nation's highest court why it is time to let love win in Florida, and we are hopeful that the Court will reject Governor Scott and Attorney General Bondi's increasingly-desperate efforts, just as it has refused all requests to stay rulings striking down discriminatory marriage bans since this October."
Tilley is right about the court swatting away requests to get into the gay marriage issue so far. But now, all signs seems to be pointing to the Supreme Court accepting the Florida case.
In October, a round of cases came to the Supreme Court's doorstep. The Supreme Court declined to accept. But in November, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a same-sex marriage ban -- creating a split in the federal appeals level. According to SCOTUSblog, this pretty much means the Supreme Court will have to get involved.
It also doesn't help that the Florida request is being handled by Justice Clarence Thomas, who already has asked attorneys for the couples to file responses to Bonbi's argument. Also Thomas, according to SCOTUSblog, has written other opinions "indicating that he has not gone along willingly with the Court's preliminary actions on same-sex marriage in recent months."
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