Two Florida Judges Rule State’s Same-Sex Marriage Ban Unconstitutional
Brandon, FL (Law Firm Newswire) August 6, 2014 - Florida's same-sex marriage ban suffered two legal defeats in July, and a ruling on a third case is still pending.
On July 17, 2014, a circuit judge in Monroe County said the law violates the U.S. Constitution. Just over a week later on July 25, a Miami-Dade judge followed suit in a separate case. Each of those rulings, which would have permitted marriages to proceed in their respective counties, was stayed pending appeal by the state. A still-pending ruling on a federal case in Tallahassee would apply statewide.
Attorney O. Reginald Osenton says it is likely the marriage ban will be defeated.
“Momentum is clearly on the side of marriage equality advocates,” Osenton said. “The state has offered up a wide range of arguments in support of the bans, and those arguments have not held up in court.”
Judge Luis Garcia in Monroe County and Judge Sarah Zabel in Miami-Dade County both ruled that the state law violates the U.S. Constitution's 14th Amendment, which guarantees due process and equal protection under the law. Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi promptly filed a notice of appeal in each case, triggering an automatic stay preventing any same-sex marriage licenses from being issued.
Advocates are hoping for a similar ruling from Judge Robert Hinkle, who is overseeing the federal case at the U.S. District Court in Tallahassee. That case is a consolidation of lawsuits filed by 10 same-sex couples and a widow who married under the laws of other states or in Canada and seek to force Florida to recognize their marriages.
“It's likely the law will have to be decided by the Florida Supreme Court,” Osenton said. “It could go either way, but if the state's lack of success so far is any indication, the ban is likely to fall.”
Osenton Law Office, PA
500 Lithia Pinecrest Road
Brandon, Florida 33511
Call: (813) 654-5777
- Special Limits on Wage Garnishment
In a previous blog post, http://www.brandonlawoffice.com/2016/06/heres-how-much-of-your-wages-can-be-garnished-to-pay-your-debts, we covered the broad limitations that federal and state laws place on wage garnishment. Wage garnishment is when a creditor sues you to have part of your income diverted directly to them to pay your debts. There are certain general limitations on how much of your income may be […]
- Here’s how much of your wages can be garnished to pay your debts
If you do not pay your debts, your creditors may try to take a portion of your income directly from your employer. This is called wage garnishment. Fortunately, there are limits to how much of your income may be garnished so that you can hopefully keep paying your basic living expenses. The limits are based […]
- Another family law reform bill falls to Gov. Scott’s veto pen
Florida Gov. Rick Scott vetoed a contentious bill that would have reformed the state’s alimony system and altered rules on child custody in divorces. The bill would have required judges in divorce proceedings to adopt a premise for approximately equal time-sharing of children between spouses. Judges could adjust the split based on 20 factors listed […]