FLORIDA: Liberty Counsel Sues To Prevent Officials From Marrying Gay Couples

Local hater John Stemberger is at it again with help from the Orlando-based Liberty Counsel. Via CBS Miami:

With Florida’s gay marriage ban scheduled to be lifted on January 6th, a conservative group is trying to put the brakes on the plan. The Florida Family Action Inc. filed two lawsuits Tuesday, asking a judge to prevent the officials from either officiating or issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples starting next week. The officials named in the lawsuits are Osceola County Clerk of Court Armando Ramirez, Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer and Circuit Judge Robert LeBlanc. The conservative group argues the lifting of the ban on same-sex marriage applies to only Washington County in the Panhandle, where the legal challenge to the state’s same-sex marriage ban originated. Ramirez has promised to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

Via press release from Florida Family Action:

Florida Family Action (FFA) announced today the filing of two lawsuits against three elected officials in Central Florida who have made clear public statements of their intentions to defy Florida law and either issue same-sex marriage licenses or officiate over same-sex marriage ceremonies on or after January 6, 2015. Florida Family Action is being represented by Liberty Counsel a leading constitutional advocacy group in the lawsuits which are filed in the Ninth Judicial Circuit Court of Florida covering Orange and Osceola counties. One lawsuit was filed against Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer and Ninth Judicial Circuit Court Judge Bob LeBlanc, and a separate second lawsuit against Osceola County Clerk of Court Armando Ramirez.

John Stemberger, president of the Florida Family Action organization issued the following statement regarding the lawsuits: “All three of these officials have shown great contempt and disrespect for the rule of law and are behaving irresponsibly and unprofessionally. The federal court decision is clear that it only applies narrowly to the two plaintiffs and only in Washington County. Elected officials must be held accountable to the law and to the constitution they have sworn to uphold. Part of the reason for the recent landslide mid-term election was the utter disregard and insolence shown by President Obama for the rule of law which is now infecting so many other politicians across America. Respect for law must be restored or else legitimacy in government as an institution will diminish at an even greater rate. Ultimately, if these local officials continue in this same reckless pattern of behavior, they could easily face the same fate as so many other politicians did who are now retired as a result of the last election.”

The suit against Osceola County can be seen here. The suit against Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer can be seen here.  The clerk for Osceola County is the only one outside of Washington County that has vowed to marry same-sex couples immediately upon the end of the stay. Last week Dyer announced a mass wedding to be held at Orlando City Hall on that day.

RELATED: In July, Stemberger declared that the fight against same-sex marriage “is worth dying for.”

UPDATE: Liberty Counsel has issued a press release:

“In sum, the Court may not expand the Preliminary Injunction as an afterthought, to afford relief that no one requested, benefiting persons who are not plaintiffs, at the expense of clerks who are not defendants,” said Horatio Mihet, Vice President of Legal Affairs and Chief Litigation Counsel for Liberty Counsel, in the filing. The new lawsuits against the Osceola County Clerk of Court, Armando Ramirez, Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer, and Circuit Judge Robert LeBlanc were filed in response to the officials’ dereliction of their official public duties. Osceola Clerk Ramirez is actively soliciting same-sex couples to apply for marriage licenses to be issued “one minute after midnight” in Kissimmee on January 6, in blatant violation of his sworn oath to uphold Florida’s marriage laws. In Orlando, Mayor Dyer and Judge LeBlanc have both agreed to officiate and promote public mass wedding ceremonies on January 6, despite having no legal authority to solemnize the marriages of same-sex couples.