Even with four Florida judges ruling in the past three weeks that the ban on same-sex marriage is unconstitutional, State Attorney General Pam Bondi has stepped in to appeal and keep same-sex marriage illegal in Florida.
On Friday, Bondi filed two motions in a state appeals court requesting a freeze on appeals by same-sex couples who are challenging Florida's gay marriage ban. With the motions, Bondi wants the U.S. Supreme Court to decide whether states have the right to ban gay marriage. Her contention is that it would be a burden on the state's taxpayers to keep bringing these issues to court.
But the same group that sent Bondi 7,000 signed petitions asking her to "stop wasting taxpayer resources defending the state's discriminatory exclusion of gay and lesbian couples from marriage" are calling her out.
The group, Equality Florida, says Bondi's request of a freeze on appeals of cases is nothing more than a delay tactic coming from an attorney general well-known for being outspoken against same-sex marriage.
"Apparently Florida's attorney general has run out of arguments in her attempt to defend the indefensible," Nadine Smith, CEO of Equality Florida, said via a statement. "This is a clear attempt to delay resolution on an issue the majority of Floridians support."
If Bondi's is motion is approved, the hope for legalization of same-sex marriage in Florida would be mired in the legal system as SCOTUS tackles the issue.
"There is no certainty when or even if the Supreme Court will take a marriage case," Smith says. "While Bondi delays, thousands of Florida families are denied the security and protections that come with the freedom to marry."
Bondi has indeed been vocal about her stance against same-sex marriage in Florida. Just last month, she argued against six gay and lesbian couples suing the state for the legalization of same-sex marriage.
Bondi wrote, "Disrupting Florida's existing marriage laws would impose significant public harm."
She added, "Florida's marriage laws have a close, direct and rational relationship to society's legitimate interest in increasing the likelihood that children will be born to and raised by the mothers and fathers who produced them in stable and enduring family units."
Yet even with her opposition, more and more polls show the majority of Floridians support the freedom to marry for same-sex couples.
Bondi's motion on Friday, however, seemed devoid of her "significant public harm" stance and more focused on saving taxpayers money and not burdening the courts with more and more appeals.
"We agree on one thing," Smith says. "Bondi should stop wasting taxpayer dollars. We call on her to take the position of nine other attorneys general who have chosen not to defend an unjust law. Either end the appeals or urge the Florida Supreme Court to take the matter up right away.
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