Florida’s fourth marriage equality lawsuit was filed today against a panhandle county clerk.
The debate over same-sex marriage is making its mark locally with the filing of a lawsuit against Washington County Interim Clerk of Court Harold Bazzel after his office refused to issue a marriage license for a local gay couple. “We followed the law,” said Bazzel. “The statute in Florida says marriage must be between a man and a woman.” Stephen Schlairet and Ozzie Russ of Chipley filed the suit with the U.S. District Court Wednesday, March 21, naming Bazzel and several other defendants, including Governor Rick Scott and Florida Attorney General Pamela Bondi. The couple is seeking to have the law declared unconstitutional.
RELATED: Earlier this week a Key West couple filed a marriage suit against the Monroe County Clerk. In January, Equality Florida and the National Center for Lesbian Rights filed a marriage equality
suit on behalf of six local couples. Last month the Orlando-based
Liberty Counsel, who authored Florida’s constitutional ban on same-sex
marriage, filed a motion to intervene in the case. Also last month, the ACLU filed a lawsuit which demands that Florida recognize legal out-of-state marriages.