FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - December 19, 2014
CONTACT: ACLU of Florida Media Office, email@example.com, (786) 363-2737
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Today, the United States Supreme Court rejected a last-ditch attempt by Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi to delay implementation of a federal court’s ruling holding unconstitutional the state’s ban on marriage for same-sex couples. Marriages will now go forward and be recognized in Florida when a district court’s stay on the decision expires at the end of the day on January 5th.
The August 21 federal court ruling by U.S. District Judge Robert Hinkle striking down the marriage ban was the result of two cases -- one brought by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Florida on behalf of eight couples, a Fort Myers widow, and SAVE, South Florida’s largest LGBT rights organization; the other by Jacksonville attorneys William Sheppard and Sam Jacobson on behalf of two couples. A temporary stay was placed on that ruling.
On November 5th, Judge Hinkle issued an order stating that the stay would be lifted at the end of the day on January 5th. The State asked the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals, where the appeal of the decision is pending, to extend the stay for the duration of the appeal. When the 11th Circuit denied that request, the State filed an application for a stay extension at the U.S. Supreme Court. Today’s decision by the Court rejects their request.
Responding to the decision, ACLU of Florida LGBT rights staff attorney Daniel Tilley stated:
“This is a thrilling day for all Florida families. As we explained to the Court, every day that the ban remains in place, couples are suffering real harms. We are grateful that the Court recognized that, and that as a result, those days are finally coming to an end.
“Now that the last-ditch efforts of Governor Scott and Pam Bondi to delay implementation of Judge Hinkle’s ruling have failed, we turn our focus to marriage equality coming to Florida. The nation’s highest court has now given its blessing to marriage going forward in Florida. Those who were waiting for the Supreme Court to weigh in have gotten exactly what they asked for. We expect public officials in all of Florida’s 67 counties to understand the significance of this development and look forward to full implementation of Judge Hinkle’s decision across our state.”
A copy of the Court’s decision can be found here: https://aclufl.org/resources/supreme-court-order-denying-stay-in-marriage-case/
Attorneys from the ACLU and the ACLU of Florida and Stephen F. Rosenthal of Podhurst Orseck, P.A. 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: www.aclufl.org/marriageequality