In a ruling that only applies in Florida’s Monroe County, last week a county circuit judge overturned the state’s constitutional ban on same-sex marriage. Yesterday that same judge refused to lift his stay on the ruling and allow marriages in the Keys to commence today.
In the emergency motion, the couple’s attorney argued gay couples should be allowed to marry starting Tuesday because of the initial ruling and because the state is unlikely to ultimately win an appeal. Gay marriage proponents have won more than 20 legal decisions against state marriage limits around the country since the U.S. Supreme Court last year struck down the federal Defense of Marriage Act. “Every day that goes by, plaintiffs and other same-sex couples are being deprived of important constitutional rights and suffering additional serious, ongoing, and irreparable dignitary, legal and economic harms,” the motion says. Huntsman and Jones are still optimistic, “In the long run we’re going to be victorious,” said Jones, “whether the state attorney general likes it or not.”
The Monroe County case was won by two Key West bartenders who have been a couple for 11 years.
RELATED: In the same CBS Miami report linked above, we get this quote from Miami Archbishop Thomas Wenski:
“While Judge Garcia spoke of ‘rights,’ the Catholic Church speaks of ‘right.” As I have said on other occasions, marriage, a union between one man and one woman and any children that arise from that union, is an institution that precedes Church and state; therefore neither Church nor state has any authority to change the nature of marriage. Since time immemorial, marriage has been primarily about the raising of children, who seem to be hardwired to be best raised by a father and a mother who are married to each other. Regardless of Catholic moral teaching on the subject, society has a legitimate interest in preserving marriage as a way of investing in the future of society by providing for the human flourishing of upcoming generations.”
The Florida Conference of Catholic Bishops has filed an opposing brief in a separate case that could overturn the marriage ban statewide. A ruling in that case is thought to be imminent.