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Anti-Gay Activist John Stemberger Says Fight Against Same-Sex Marriage Is 'Worth Dying For': VIDEO

Stemberger

John Stemberger, President of Florida Family Policy Council, has said that the fight against same-sex marriage “is an issue worth dying for," reports The Miami Herald.

Stemberger led the 2008 campaign to ban same-sex marriage in the state and spearheaded Trail Life USA as a direct response to the 2013 decision to allow gay youth to join the scouts.

His comments follow Monroe County Chief Circuit Judge Luis M. Garcia’s decision to strike down Florida’s ban on same-sex marriage last week.

However, Stemberger said that “every domestic partnership, every single civil union, every couple that cohabitates, these arrangements dilute and devalue marriage.”

Watch Manatee and Sarasota residents give their reactions to Garcia's ruling, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Georgia Attorney General Sam Olens Moves To Dismiss Challenge To Same-Sex Marriage

Sam olens georgia

Georgia attorney general Sam Olens has asked a judge to dismiss a federal lawsuit challenging the state’s ban on same-sex marriage, reports ABC News.

Olens said in a July 21st filing that Lambda Legal’s lawsuit takes away Georgia residents’ right to define marriage.

In 2004, Georgia voters supported a constitutional ban on same-sex marriage. Despite a later challenge, the state Supreme Court ruled in 2006 that the vote was valid.

While acknowledging moves in other states to legalize same-sex marriage, Olen’s brief states that “judicially imposing such a result now would merely wrest a potentially unifying popular victory from the hands of supporters and replace it instead with the stale conformity of compulsion.”

Olens also argued that recent decisions striking down constitutional bans in other states should not apply to Georgia because the state's marriage laws do not imply a right to marry someone of the same sex.

According to Beth Littrell, a senior attorney for Lambda Legal and co-counsel on the case, "this is a strong indication the attorney general plans on defending the marriage ban regardless of the precedent lining up against him that the federal Constitution provides to all citizens the right to marry the person they love.”

In April, Art Gardner, one of seven Republicans running for retiring Senator Saxby Chambliss's U.S. Senate seat in Georgia, announced his support for Lambda Legal's suit and asked Olens to not fight the suit.


Motion To Lift Stay On Florida Same-Sex Marriage Ban Denied: VIDEO

Aaron huntsman

A motion asking Monroe County Circuit Judge Luis Garcia to lift a stay in his ruling that Florida’s ban on same-sex marriage is unconstitutional has been denied, reports CBS Miami.

The motion was filed by Key West bartenders Aaron Huntsman and William Lee Jones.

Last week, Garcia ruled that the 2008 constitutional ban on same-sex marriage is discriminatory and violates gay people’s right to equal treatment under the law.

However, Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi, who in May asked a federal judge to throw out a lawsuit seeking recognition of out-of-state same-sex marriages, filed a notice of appeal, staying the ruling.

Agreeing with Bondi, Garcia wrote:

“Based on decisions of the United States Supreme Court and other courts to stay proceedings in similar challenges, this court DENIES the Emergency Motion. The automatic stay, currently in place, shall remain in place until completion of appellate proceedings or until further order of the Court.”

Speaking to CBS Miami regarding his concerns about same-sex marriage, Auxiliary Bishop of Miami Peter Baldacchino said "our fear is that the implications of tampering with the language of marriage will have far-reaching implications that can hurt especially the vulnerable."

However, remaining positive, Huntsman said "whether is happens to tomorrow or if it doesn't, it's going to happen."

Watch the CBS Miami report on Garcia's ruling, AFTER THE JUMP...

 

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Montana Attorney General Asks Court To Uphold State's Gay Marriage Ban

Tim fox montana

On July 17th, Montana attorney general Tim Fox asked a federal court to uphold the state’s constitutional ban on same-sex marriage in response to an attempt to overturn the 2004 law, reports Great Falls Trubine

In May, four couples filed a federal lawsuit arguing that the ban denies same-sex couples the protections and benefits of marriage afforded to other residents of the state.

According to Los Angeles TimesFox said that Montanans made their decision in 2004 when they voted for a constitutional provision that “only a marriage between one man and one woman shall be valid or recognized as a marriage in this state." 

Democratic Governor Steve Bullock has expressed his support for the plaintiffs.

Speaking to Great Falls Tribune, Jim Taylor, legal director of Montana’s American Civil Liberties Union, said that the case could take up to a year to resolve.

Same-sex marriage is legal in nineteen states and the District of Columbia. Bans that have been overturned in other states continue to make their way through the courts.

In June, Bozeman, the fourth-largest city in Montana, voted 4-0 to pass an LGBT non-discrimination ordinance, becoming the fourth city in the state to do so.


Denver Baker Appeals Colorado Civil Rights Commission's Finding That He Discriminated Against Gay Couple

Jack phillips baker denver

Denver baker Jack Phillips has appealed an order from the Colorado Civil Rights Commission (CCRC) requiring him to prepare wedding cakes for same-sex couples, reports ABC News.

In May, the CCRC rejected Phillips’ appeal of a judge’s earlier ruling that he “unlawfully discriminated against a gay couple by refusing to sell them a wedding cake” in 2012.

Phillips has said that making the cake would violate the Christian principles by which he runs his business.

Phillips' attorneys say that the decision violates the baker’s First Amendment rights.

Earlier this month we reported that a bakery in Northern Ireland could face legal action from The Equality Commission for Northern Ireland for refusing to take an order for a cake with the slogan “support gay marriage.”

Watch a Fox News report on the Phillips case, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Cape Coral, FL Mayor is First in SW Florida to Support Marriage Equality: VIDEO

Cape Coral Mayor Marni Sawicki

Cape Coral Mayor Marni Sawicki is the first mayor in Southwest Florida to publicly announce her support for same-sex marriage, reports ABC-7 News.

Marni sawicki twitterSawicki has also added her name to a list of more than 500 mayors around the United States who support marriage equality.  Yesterday, we featured a video by Tallahassee Mayor John Marks in which he explains his reasons for supporting same-sex marriage.

Announcing her decision, Sawicki said she added her name to the Mayors for the Freedom To Marry campaign because “it's about human rights and freedom of choice. I believe it's the right thing to do."

However, although Sawicki has received support, some Cape Coral residents are less than happy with her decision.  One resident Dennis Adana told ABC-7 News that “as a Christian I am appalled that she would come out and publicly be okay with that.”

Watch Tallahassee Mayor John Marks explain why he supports same-sex marriage, AFTER THE JUMP...

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