Surprising Development in Florida Marriage Equality Case

When U.S. District Judge Robert Hinkle ruled on August 21 in Brenner v. Armstrong and Grimsley v. Armstrong that Florida’s ban on same-sex marriage was unconstitutional, he stayed his preliminary injunction until January 5, 2015, to give the state a chance to appeal to the 11th Circuit.  He indicated that if the state wanted to have the decision stayed longer until the Court of Appeals could decide on the merits, it should ask the Court … <Read More>

Florida Appeals Court Calls for Florida Supreme Court to Decide Marriage Equality Question

In a highly unusual move, most of the judges on the Florida Second District Court of Appeal have agreed to certify to the state’s Supreme Court the question whether a Florida trial court has jurisdiction over a divorce proceeding of a same-sex couple who were married in another state.  A panel of the court had rejected a request by the parties to refer the case to the Supreme Court on June 26, but the parties … <Read More>

Another Marriage Equality Ruling from Florida – Albeit a Narrow One

Palm Beach County Circuit Judge Diana Lewis ruled on August 5 that the Florida ban on recognizing same-sex marriages was unconstitutional as applied to the case pending before her, in which a Pennsylvania man is seeking to be appointed the Personal Representative in Florida for his deceased husband’s estate.  Lewis found that there was no rational basis to deny the appointment.

Frank Bangor and Jason Simpson were married in Delaware in 2013.  Bangor passed away … <Read More>

A Third Florida Trial Court Rules in Favor of Marriage Equality in a Civil Union Recognition Case

Broward County Circuit Judge Dale Cohen has ruled that Florida must recognize a Vermont civil union for purposes of dissolving it so that one of the partners, a long-time Florida resident, can marry her girlfriend out of state.  The August 4 ruling in Brassner v. Lade, Case No. 13-012058(37), is the 30th consecutive ruling for marriage equality since a federal judge in Utah ruled last December that Utah’s ban on same-sex marriage violated the 14th … <Read More>

A Second Florida Trial Judge Rules for Marriage Equality

Just days after Monroe County Circuit Judge Luis M. Garcia ruled that Florida’s constitutional and statutory bans on same-sex marriage violate the 14th Amendment, a second Florida trial judge, Sarah Zabel of Miami-Dade County, reached the same conclusion in Pareto v. Ruvin and State of Florida, No. 14-1661 CA 24, announced on July 25.  As in the earlier case, Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi immediately responded by filing a notice of appeal, but Judge Zabel … <Read More>

Key West (Florida) Trial Judge Rules for Marriage Equality

A state trial judge in Key West, Florida, has ruled that the state’s ban on same-sex marriage violates the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. Judge Luis M. Garcia ruled on July 17 that Monroe County Clerk Amy Heavilin must issue a marriage license to Aaron R. Huntsman and William Lee Jones, who have been a couple for eleven years, on July 22. Garcia wrote that he was giving the clerk until July 22 “in … <Read More>