FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – September 4, 2014
CONTACT: ACLU of Florida Media Office, email@example.com, (786) 363-2737
TALLAHASSEE, FL – Today, defendants in two federal lawsuits challenging Florida’s marriage ban – Governor Scott appointees John Armstrong (Surgeon General) and Craig Nichols (Secretary of the Department of Management Services), and Washington County Clerk of Court Harold Bazzell— filed a notice that they are appealing the August 21 ruling by U.S. District Judge Robert Hinkle overturning Florida’s ban on marriage for same-sex couples.
The ruling, a result of two separate federal lawsuits—one brought by the ACLU of Florida, the other brought by Jacksonville attorneys William Sheppard and Sam Jacobson—made Florida the 16th state in which a federal court has found a marriage ban unconstitutional since the Supreme Court’s ruling striking down the main provision of the federal Defense of Marriage Act.
Responding to the notice of appeal, ACLU of Florida LGBT rights staff attorney Daniel Tilley stated:
“We are very disappointed that Governor Scott has taken this affirmative step to keep in place laws that he knows cause substantial, concrete harms to families across Florida. He has the power to end this now, yet he has chosen to perpetuate the second-class status of lesbian and gay couples. State officials are only delaying the day when all Florida families are given the respect, dignity and responsibility that come with marriage. We will not rest until the marriages of all of Florida’s loving couples are recognized.”
Attorneys from the ACLU, the ACLU of Florida and the Podhurst Orseck law firm represent eight same-sex couples, a widow from Ft. Myers, and SAVE, South Florida’s largest LGBT rights organization, in the federal lawsuit challenging Florida’s marriage ban. More information on the case is available at www.aclufl.org/marriageequality
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