FLORIDA: Plaintiffs In Key West And Miami-Dade Suits File To Merge Cases

Last month the plaintiffs in the same-sex marriage suits brought in Florida’s Monroe and Miami-Dade counties won their cases in stayed rulings that only apply in the counties in which they were brought. So they are now attempting to join forces and get in front of the state Supreme Court together.

“If it is approved, then this will be awesome news,” said Vanessa Alenier, who along with her partner Melanie is challenging the ban. “This merger will just makes us stronger.” Earlier this month, the couples from both lawsuits boldly went to court to stand up for their right to marry, even though they were accosted by some religious protestors after the hearing. Their cases resulted in historic decisions from Miami-Dade County Circuit Court Judge Sarah Zabel and Monroe County Circuit Judge Luis Garcia, both of whom ruled in their favor. The fight for marriage equality now continues to the next judicial arena, the Third District Court of Appeal based in Miami, though the couples are trying to take their case straight to the Florida Supreme Court. If the higher courts (potentially including the U.S. Supreme Court) judge in accordance with Zabel’s and Garcia’s decision, then same-sex marriage will be legalized throughout Florida.

A third case has already been heard in a Tallahassee federal court and the ruling in that case, should it come before the proposed Monroe/Miami-Dade case, would also be applicable statewide.