Monday, July 21, 2014

ALMOST a Win for Same Sex Marriage

Yes, I know that this topic is counterproductive to my business. However, despite all the divorce and separation that I handle, I still support love and happiness all the way! With that being said, same sex couples were almost handed a win in the fight for gay marriage last Thursday in Key West, Florida. A gay couple filed a lawsuit against the Monroe County Clerk when they were denied a marriage license earlier this year. Believe it or not, Chief Circuit Judge Luis Garcia ruled that the Florida Constitutional Amendment banning same sex marriage violates the United States Constitution, which promises U.S. citizens protection over "the rights of the individual, the rights of the unpopular and rights of the powerless, even at the cost of offending the majority." However, Attorney General Pam Bondi immediately appealed the ruling to the Third District Court of Appeal, which triggered an automatic stay on Judge Garcia's ruling. What does that mean?? It means that gay couples can not proceed with obtaining marriage licenses in Key West until either the stay is lifted by Judge Garcia or the district court. Once again, it becomes a waiting game for this couple and thousands more. But at least it is a HUGE step in the right direction!
The lack of same sex marriage laws similarly affects the couples' ability to divorce. Gay couples who have married in another state that allows gay marriage still can not receive a divorce in Florida. A lesbian couple in Hillsborough County is suing to divorce and the court would not grant it because Florida does not recognize the marriage. The couple could still attend a family mediation and create a divorce settlement agreement so they can move on with their lives. Although the agreement would not be enforceable through the court system, it could still act as a contract between the parties.

(Source- Miami Herald, Same-Sex Rights, by Steve Rothaus and Cammy Clark, July 19, 2014; picture source

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