Pam Bondi Hub

Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi Appeals Gay Marriage Ruling to Eleventh Circuit Court

Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi has filed an appeal with the Eleventh Circuit asking the court to take up Judge Robert Hinkle's August ruling overturning the state's ban on same-sex marriage. 

BondiLast week, Hinkle announced he would not lift the stay on his ruling before it is set to expire on January 5. The Eleventh Circuit also has jurisdiction over Alabama and Georgia - neither of which have marriage equailty yet. 

Here's an excerpt from Bondi's appeal:

Because no fundamental right is at issue, and because there is no other basis fro applying heightened scrutiny, only rational basis applies. Florida's laws satisfy this deferential standard. Florida's laws therefore do not violate the Due Process and Equal Protection Clauses of the Fourteenth Amendment. Nor do they violate the right to travel, the Establishment Clause, or a right to intimate association. 

Read the full appeal below via Equality Case Files

Florida DMV Threatens To Revoke Gay Couple's Driver Licenses If They Don't Change Names - VIDEO


The state of Florida is threatening to revoke a same-sex couple's driver licenses because they obtained them using an out-of-state marriage certificate.

Daniel [left] and Scott Wall-Desousa, of Palm Bay, Florida, have been together for 10 years and were married in New York City. 

Earlier this year, both men attempted to get their hyphenated, married name — which appears on their Social Security cards — on their Florida driver licenses.

Daniel Wall-Desousa had no trouble, but Scott was rejected at a different DMV office — based on Florida's constitutional amendment prohibiting recognition of same-sex marriages from out of state, according to a report from WFTV Channel 9.

After an extended back-and-forth with state officials, Scott went to a different DMV office and was able to obtain a license with his married name. The couple then appeared on WFTV, which reported they were one of the first couples in Florida to change their name thorugh an out-of-state same-sex marriage.

However, state officials apparently took notice, and within days of the report airing, the Wall-Desousas received a letter saying their driver licenses will be revoked unless they obtain new ones in their previous names, WFTV reports.

"It informs me and notifies me that my driving privileges will be canceled indefinitely as of Nov. 22," Daniel Wall-Desousa said of the letter.

The couple now says they intend to file a lawsuit. Several state and federal judges in Florida have struck down the state's marriage amendment as unconsitutinal, but those decisions have been stayed pending appeals by Republican Attorney General Pam Bondi.

In Texas earlier this year, a woman was similarly denied a driver license when she tried to obtain one using an out-of-state same-sex marriage certificate. But the woman, Connie Wilson, was later able to obatin a license with her married name using a US passport. 

No word on whether Texas plans to try to revoke Wilson's license.

Watch WFTV's initial report, AFTER THE JUMP ...

Continue reading "Florida DMV Threatens To Revoke Gay Couple's Driver Licenses If They Don't Change Names - VIDEO " »

Federal Judge Won't Lift Stay On Ruling That Struck Down Florida's Gay Marriage Ban

6a00d8341c730253ef01b8d062de3d970c-800wiIn August, Judge Robert Hinkle became the first federal judge to rule Flordia's voter-approved ban on same-sex marriage unconstitutional. However, Hinkle also issued a stay of his ruling, preventing it from going into effect. Judge Hinkle has today announced that he will not lift his stay before it is set to expire on January 5. The AP reports:

Attorney General Pam Bondi is seeking a review of the decision by the Atlanta-based 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. Gay marriage proponents had asked Hinkle to lift the stay, which would have allowed gay marriages to begin despite the appeal.

"This would leave the 11th Circuit insufficient time to make a considered judgment on whether the stay should remain in place and thus would be inconsistent with the public interest in implementing just once the constitutional decision on same-sex marriage in Florida," Hinkle wrote. [...]

Hinkle also denied Bondi's request to leave the stay in place as long as the 11th Circuit is considering Florida's appeal, setting instead the January deadline. The judge said that would mean unnecessary delay, especially considering "the unbroken line of circuit decisions striking down bans on same-sex marriage."

"No circuit that has decided the same-sex marriage issue on the merits has stayed its ruling," the judge added.

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


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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