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News Anchor Slams Florida Gov. Rick Scott for 'Appalling' Refusal To Take Responsibility For Preventing Same-Sex Marriages: VIDEO

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ABC News Anchor Micahel Putney recently slammed Florida Governor Rick Scott for his refusal to own up to the fact that same-sex marriage is illegal in Florida in no small part because of his actions. While the state's ban on same-sex marriage has been fought in the courts, Attorney General Pam Bondi has continued to defend it. Scott meanwhile has claimed, 'he doesn't have a thing to do with it', a claim Putney is quick to refute:

"That is just nonsense. Governor Scott is the top elected official in the state. If he didn't want Attorney General Bondi to file those appeals he can simply call her up and say, "hey stop it." Or he can order her to stop it. That's what Governor Scott Walker did in Wisconsin, what the governor of Virginia did, they did it in Arizona...The fact that Gov. Scott refuses to take responsibility [for preventing same-sex marriage] is appalling. But it's not the first time."

Watch Putney's spot-on take down of Scott, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "News Anchor Slams Florida Gov. Rick Scott for 'Appalling' Refusal To Take Responsibility For Preventing Same-Sex Marriages: VIDEO" »


Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi Files Motion to Keep Stay on Pro-Marriage Equality Ruling

Back in August, U.S. District Judge Robert L. Hinkle became the first federal judge to strike down Florida's gay marriage ban when he ordered the state to issue a new death certificate for Carol Goldwasser, naming Arlene Goldberg (her partner for 47 years) as her wife. Hinkle, however, issued a stay covering all aspects of the federal case except Goldwasser's death certificate until the Supreme Court resolved the marriage cases before it.

Pam bondiWith the Supreme Court declining to take up any of the cases earlier this month, the ACLU proceeded to ask Hinkle to lift his stay on the ruling, but Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi has now filed a motion asking the stay remain in place until the case is heard by the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals.

The Miami Herald reports:

“This Court has already entered a limited stay after recognizing the ‘substantial public interest in stable marriage laws,’ and it should continue the stay until the federal appeals court can review the decision,” Bondi wrote to Hinkle. “On balance, it is in the public’s best interest to wait for an appellate decision before implementing an order of this significance.”

The paper adds:

Howard Simon, executive director of the ACLU of Florida, responded: “This is how an Attorney General uses the law to serve an ideology and partisan politics, rather than justice.”

If Hinkle lifts the stay, it is likely he would give Bondi another week to file an appeal to the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta before allowing couples to marry, Simon said.

“It’s disappointing that Attorney General Bondi and Gov. Rick Scott have chosen to continue to swim against the tide of inevitable history and block Florida families from having the protections that come with being married,” said Daniel Tilley, the ACLU of Florida’s LGBT rights staff attorney.
 
Read the full motion below via Equality Case Files.

Attorney General Pam Bondi Asks Florida Supreme Court to Decide Gay Marriage Cases Now

Attorney General Pam Bondi filed papers late Monday asking the Florida Supreme Court to step in and decide whether gay couples can marry in the state, the Miami Herald reports:

Bondi“That is unquestionably an important issue, and the Plaintiffs, the State, and all citizens deserve a definitive answer,” Bondi’s office wrote in a 6 p.m. filing to the state’s Third District Court of Appeal. “Until recently, the issue was squarely before the United States Supreme Court, and it appeared that a definitive answer was coming. ... Unfortunately, the United States Supreme Court decided not to answer the question.”

Bondi has suffered two losses in defense of the state's gay marriage ban, the cases were consolidated, and sent to the Florida Supreme Court. At that time, Bondi asked the Florida Supremes to hold off and wanted SCOTUS to decide.

Since those cases, the state's gay marriage ban has suffered an additional three losses in Broward and Palm Beach counties and in federal court in Tallahassee.

FloridaAdded Bondi:

“Florida’s courts will therefore need to resolve the issue without further United States Supreme Court guidance...Because there are cases pending in multiple districts, and because this is an issue of great public importance that now warrants immediate Florida Supreme Court review, the State respectfully suggests pass-through certification.”

Equality Florida's Nadine Smith released a statement last night:

“While we look forward to having this matter move forward to the Florida Supreme Court, and asked for this on July 30th, AG Bondi and Governor Rick Scott continue to waste taxpayer money while same-sex couples throughout the state continue to endure the indignities of being treated like second-class citizens. Nearly two-thirds of the country now live in a state that values equality.  How much longer must loving couples in Florida wait to protect their families?  Now is the time for AG Bondi and Gov Scott to step on the right side of history and not let Florida go down in history as one of the last states to uphold the principles of fairness.”

Read Bondi's filing below:

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Florida Recognizes First Same-Sex Couple As ACLU Asks Judge to End State's Gay Marriage Ban

Back in August, U.S. District Judge Robert L. Hinkle became the first federal judge to strike down Florida's gay marriage ban when he ordered the state to issue a new death certificate for Carol Goldwasser, naming Arlene Goldberg - her partner for 47 years - as her wife. 

FloridaOn Wednesday, Goldberg recieved Goldwasser's newly issued death certificate, making her and her late spouse the first gay couple to have their marriage recognized in the Sunshine State, Broward Palm Beach New Times reports:

"It's hard to put into words how meaningful this is to me," said Goldberg in a public statement. "For 47 years, Carol and I made our lives together, all the while being treated like strangers in the eyes of the law in Florida. It's bittersweet that Carol isn't here to share this joy with me, but for the first time in 47 years, our marriage was respected. Our relationship and commitment to each other is finally recognized." 

Meanwhile, the ACLU of Florida has asked Hinkle to lift the stay on his ruling - a stay which covered all aspects of the federal case except Goldwasser's death certificate.  Attorney General Pam Bondi, backed by Governor Rick Scott, is continuing to defend the state's gay marriage ban. 

Said Howard Simon, executive director of the ACLU of Florida:

"The governor could end this today if he wanted to. Don't put all this on Bondi. It's time the governor recognize the message that the U.S. Supreme Court has sent. It's over. If Scott Walker can make that decision, so can Rick Scott."


Florida AG Pam Bondi Appeals Broward County Decision Striking Down Gay Marriage Ban

6a00d8341c730253ef01b7c6d563e9970b-200wiFlorida's Attorney General Pam Bondi has filed a motion appealing Broward County Judge Dale Cohen's ruling that struck down the state's ban on same-sex marriage. Judge Cohen stayed his ruling for 30 days, allowing the state time to appeal before his ruling would take effect. If the state did not appeal, same-sex marriages were said to be allowed to commence in Florida's second-most populous county. However, Judge Cohen later vacated his ruling upon learning that Bondi's office was not properly notified of his decision. According to Bondi's motion, the state is stepping in to "defend state law, ensure further review if necessary, and promote an orderly resolution of the legal issues presented." Bondi previously stated that she wanted the U.S. Supreme Court to have the ultimate say on Florida's marriage ban. Florida's new motion suggests the issue will likely be decided by the high court while at the same time asserting the state's interest in upholding its discriminatory ban: 

The challenges to Florida’s marriage laws turn on the same question: Whether the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution requires a state to recognize same-sex marriage. The United States Supreme Court has the final word on federal constitutional questions, and it is likely to resolve this question definitively in the near future. Until then, the State of Florida has an interest in defending its laws against challenges asserted by the petitioner here.

[h/t Joe.My.God]


New Campaign Urges Florida Gov. Rick Scott Not To Appeal Ruling Striking Down Gay Marriage Ban: VIDEO

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Equality Florida has announced the creation of a new social media campaign intended to stop Florida Governor Rick Scott from appealing a decision that struck down the Sunshine State's ban on same-sex marriage. The campaign calls on the public to upload personal messages of support for marriage equality.

From Equality Florida:

6a00d8341c730253ef01b7c6d05d1d970b-200wiJudge Hinkle has stated that Attorney General Pam Bondi cannot appeal the decision. Then who can appeal? Craig J. Nichols, Florida’s Secretary of Management Services; John H. Armstrong, Florida’s Surgeon General; and Harold Bazzel, Washington County Clerk of Court. Two of the three take orders from Governor Scott and will likely appeal the decision if he tells them to do so.

We need to send the message loud and clear: "Governor Scott, DO NOT appeal the marriage decision."

This is where you help! Make a video telling Governor Scott not to appeal the marriage decision and post it to Facebook/Twitter/Youtube - and use the hashtag #MarriageNow.

Judge Hinkle's decision striking down the marriage ban was one in a succession of rulings out of Florida on same-sex marriage, none of which ruled in favor of the state. Meanwhile, Florida's Attorney General Pam Bondi has been adamant that she intends on enforcing and defending the ban. 

Former Florida Governor Charlie Crist has also called on Governor Scott to end his enforcement of the same-sex marriage ban. If Scott does not appeal Judge Hinkle's decision by September 21, the ban will become null and void. 

Watch a sample #MarriageNow video, AFTER THE JUMP...

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