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Another state of Florida Judge has ruled that Florida's ban on same-sex marriages is unconstitutional. We already had a ruling from Judge Garcia in Monroe County (the Keys), and now a Miami-Dade County judge has also ruled in favor of marriage equality. The ruling/order is stayed pending appeal.

You can read the ruling here.

From the Miami Herald:

For the second time in eight days, a South Florida circuit judge has declared the state's gay marriage ban unconstitutional and ordered that same-sex couples be married.

Late Friday afternoon, Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Sarah Zabel ordered that six same-sex couples who sued Miami-Dade County Clerk Harvey Ruvin for marriage licenses in January should be allowed to wed.

There will be no weddings yet: In her ruling, Zabel ordered an immediate stay until after the case is appealed.

“To deny this fundamental freedom on so unsupportable a basis as the... classifications embodied in these statutes, classifications so directly subversive of the principle of equality at the heart of the Fourteenth Amendment, is surely to deprive all the State's citizens of liberty without due process of law,” Zabel wrote in her order, citing a 1967 Supreme Court ruling that overturned a state ban on interracial marriage.

On July 17, Monroe County Chief Circuit Judge Luis Garcia also ruled Florida’s gay marriage ban unconstitutional and ordered that two gay Key West men be allowed to marry. That decision has also been stayed and Aaron Huntsman and William Lee Jones have not yet been allowed to marry in Florida.

From the ruling:
The recognition that the right to marry encompasses categories of people not traditionally considered to be accorded that right has been slow in coming, but it has become increasingly obvious that it is not constitutionally permissible to deny same-sex couples the right to marry.

The flood of cases that have come out since Windsor amply demonstrates this truth as not one court has found a same-sex marriage ban to be constitutional. As case after case has come out, unified in their well-reasoned constitutional condemnation of the deprivation of one class of person’s right to marry, the answer to the question of whether it is constitutionally permissible to deprive same-sex couples of the right to marry has become increasingly obvious: Of course it is not. Preventing couples from marrying solely on the basis of their sexual orientation serves no governmental interest. It serves only to hurt, to discriminate, to deprive same-sex couples and their families of equal dignity, to label and treat them as second-class citizens, and to deem them unworthy of participation in one of the fundamental institutions of our society.

The journey of our Nation towards becoming “a more perfect Union” does not stop at any particular generation; it is instead a fluid process through every generation. U.S. CONST. pmbl. The Court, therefore, foresees a day when the term “same-sex marriage” is viewed in the same absurd vein as “separate but equal” and is thus forsaken and supplanted by ordinary “marriage.” See Whitewood, 2014 WL 2058105 at *15.

via Equality On Trial

From Freedom To Marry:

Freedom to Marry's National Campaign Director Marc Solomon applauded the ruling today. He said:

Today Judge Zabel joins a chorus of judges from all across the nation, including another judge in Florida, who have found that bans on marriage for same-sex couples are unconstitutional," said Marc Solomon, Freedom to Marry’s national campaign director. "The plaintiffs in this case want what all couples want: the freedom to make a lifetime commitment to the person they love and protect their families – a protection that only marriage can provide. Majorities of Americans in Florida and across the country support the freedom to marry. Today's decision further highlights how out of step Sen. Marco Rubio is, with growing numbers in his own party, a strong majority of Floridians, and now increasingly the Florida courts.

4:46 PM PT: AG Pam Bondi has already appealed the ruling.


Originally posted to Kossacks for Marriage Equality on Fri Jul 25, 2014 at 03:24 PM PDT.

Also republished by LGBT Kos Community and LGBT Rights are Human Rights.

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