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Florida Attorney General Declines to Appeal Judge’s Ruling on Same-Sex Marriage

Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi allowed a deadline to appeal a Broward County court’s August ruling on same-sex marriage, thereby setting the stage for the court to approve the divorce of two women who have been in a civil union for more than 12 years. 

The case in question involved a woman in Fort Lauderdale who wished to divorce her estranged partner. However, because Florida law does not recognize same-sex marriage, it also has not allowed gay and lesbian partners to get divorced in the state.  

This was an interesting move — or lack of a move — by Bondi, whose office has appealed a federal judge’s ruling that Florida’s ban on same-sex marriage violates the U.S. Constitution. The attorney general’s office filed the notice to appeal in early September, before the decision to decline an appeal of the Broward County ruling. 

Trends Point to Overturning the Ban 

In the August federal court ruling, the U.S. district judge in Tallahassee ruled that the ban, approved by voters in 2008, was in violation of the 14th Amendment’s guarantees to due process and equal protection under the law. In addition, five judges throughout Florida, including the one in the Broward County case, have reached the same conclusion. 

There is currently a great deal of momentum in challenging the state’s same-sex marriage ban, although the attorney general appears adamant about appealing most rulings declaring the law unconstitutional. On October 6, 2014, the United States Supreme Court refused to consider numerous appeals regarding same sex marriage, which has been viewed by many as a victory for proponents of gay marriage. 

If you have questions about same-sex marriage or divorce, or any other family law-related issue, you may need the counsel of a knowledgeable Jacksonville lawyer with Combs Greene, PA. 

Andrea Jevic also contributed to this blog post. 

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