The Supreme Court declined to review a Florida marriage case today, effectively allowing same-sex marriages to begin in some parts of the state as soon as Jan. 6. Florida had appealed to the Supreme Court after a federal appeals court in Atlanta refused to stay a district judge’s decision to overturn the state’s marriage amendment.
Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi has argued Florida needs uniform marriage laws. Because the original lawsuit named only one county clerk, questions remain about whether other clerks could issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples once the ruling takes effect.
“The public interest is not served by having two sets of marriage laws in Florida or by confusion about the law,” a court filing by the state read, according to the Tallahassee Democrat.
Voters adopted the amendment, which defined marriage as between one man and one woman, in 2008. U.S. District Judge Robert Hinkle declared the law unconstitutional in August, but stayed his ruling until Jan. 5 pending appeals. Florida is a member of the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, which also includes Alabama and Georgia, where voter-approved marriage amendments still stand. Though the 11th Circuit declined to issue an injunction against Hinckle’s ruling, it has yet to hear full arguments on the marriage issue.
Courtesy: WORLD News Service
Publication date: January 6, 2015