Tuesday, August 5, 2014

3rd Times A Charm

Well, maybe. The Broward Judge who was assigned to a lesbian woman's lawsuit in her fight to receive a divorce, declared the Florida gay marriage ban unconstitutional. Judge Cohen ruled that in order to consider the divorce, he first had to evaluate whether the ban on same sex marriage was constitutional. Although this a giant success in the fight against the 2008 same sex marriage ban, his ruling was immediately stayed pending a possible appeal by Florida Attorney General, Pam Bondi. However, Judge Cohen's words were poignant -
 "This Court believes that the issue here is not whether there is a right to same sex marriage but instead whether there is a right to marriage from which same sex couples can be excluded. The State of Florida cannot ignore the status and dignity afforded to opposite sex couples, who were married out of state, and not extend those same rights, dignities, and benefits to same sex couples similarly situated."
 In contract to the benefits of marriage, the protections that come with separation and divorce, such as child custody and property issues, must also be afforded to same sex couples. As a family mediator, I am proud to be a resident of South Florida, where our legal system is attempting to fight this horrible, discriminatory ban on same sex couples. Let's just hope that Attorney Pam Bondi focuses her efforts on enforcing Florida's legal issues elsewhere.

(source Miami Herald by Steve Rothaus, August 5, 2014)

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