FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – November 5, 2014
CONTACT:  ACLU of Florida Media Office,, (786) 363-2737

TALLAHASSEE, FL – Today, U.S. District Judge Robert Hinkle denied a motion filed by the ACLU of Florida asking the court to quickly lift the stay that had been placed on the Court’s decision striking down Florida’s ban on marriage for same-sex couples, and denied a motion by the state to extend the stay until the appeals are resolved.

On October 7, following a decision by the U.S. Supreme Court not to hear several other marriage appeals and thereby allowing marriages to go forward in several states, the ACLU of Florida filed a motion urging the District Court to lift the stay that had been put on the August 21st ruling that struck down Florida’s marriage ban in two state cases. One case was brought by the ACLU on behalf of 8 couples, a Fort Myers widow and SAVE, South Florida’s largest LGBT rights organization; the other was brought by Jacksonville attorneys William Sheppard and Sam Jacobson, who concurred with the ACLU motion.

On October 24th, Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi’s office filed a motion to keep the stay in place until the appeals are resolved.

Today’s decision denied both motions and stated that the stay will be lifted on January 5, 2015 unless extended by the federal appeals court.

Responding to today’s decision, ACLU of Florida LGBT rights staff attorney Daniel Tilley stated:

“We are disappointed that the day in which all Florida families are treated with fairness and dignity under the law is not happening sooner, but that day is still coming. The stay on the ruling  remains in place, but Judge Hinkle’s ruling itself made it clear that denying some Florida families the dignity and protections that come with marriage just because they are headed by same-sex couples is unfair, harmful, and unconstitutional.

“We look forward to representing our clients before the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals and arguing that the time has come for Florida’s hurtful and discriminatory marriage ban to be once and for all brought to an end.”

A copy of the order denying the motions to alter the stay is available here:

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 a federal lawsuit challenging Florida’s marriage ban.

More information on the ACLU’s case, including bios of the couples, is available at:

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