U.S. District Judge Robert Hinkle ruled Florida’s constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage unconstitutional, reports The Associated Press. He said the amendment, which passed in 2008, violates the 14th amendment guarantees of due process and equal protections.
From the AP:
“When observers look back 50 years from now, the arguments supporting Florida’s ban on same-sex marriage, though just as sincerely held, will again seem an obvious pretext for discrimination,” Hinkle wrote in a 33-page ruling. “To paraphrase a civil rights leader from the age when interracial marriage was struck down, the arc of history is long, but it bends toward justice.”
Florida queers shouldn’t run to the courthouse just yet. He immediately stayed his own order, which I suppose is a win for efficiency. In recent weeks, four Florida counties have overturned their marriage bans, starting with Monroe County. Attorney General Pam Bondi appealed those rulings and has said the state should wait for a national marriage ruling from the U.S. Supreme Court
Today the whole state joins those counties — and much much of the rest of the country — in marriage equality limbo. That limbo can be painful, as Layla wrote last month. But as more and more states make their way through the federal court system, a court ruling in favor of national marriage equality seems inevitable.