Remember the Broward County judge who struck down Florida’s ban on same-sex marriage but then took it back when it turned out that AG Pam Bondi hadn’t been properly notified about the case? Yesterday he reinstated that ruling.
On Monday, Broward Circuit Court Judge Dale Cohen issued a ruling striking down the state’s same-sex marriage ban, just as several county judges had before him – including Broward Circuit Court Judge Dale Cohen. The case involved Heather Brassner, who wanted a divorce after getting a civil union in Vermont in 2002. But Florida’s ban on same-sex marriages prevents the state from recognizing same-sex marriages or civil unions performed in other states. Therefore, Brassner couldn’t get divorced in the state. She went to court to fight and on Aug. 4, after hearing her case, Cohen overturned Florida’s same-sex marriage ban. However, Cohen vacated his ruling when he learned that Brassner’s attorneys did not give the state enough time to file an appeal. On Monday, Cohen once again ruled the ban unconstitutional and put his ruling on hold pending appeal.
Cohen’s stay will likely be made moot early next month when the stay in another case will expire, making same-sex marriage legal statewide.