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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Bondi takes a pass as other states add voice to Supreme Court arguments on gay marriage

27

March

When organizers sought support from states for “friend of the court” petitions in gay-marriage cases before the Supreme Court this week, they were hopeful that Florida would join.

Florida, a big state that attracts attention, has a state constitutional ban on gay marriage. And it has Republican Attorney General Pam Bondi, who has stressed conservative positions since being elected in 2010.

Bondi last year went to Washington for the fight over health care, and later put Florida’s name on a brief supporting Arizona’s tough immigration law. “I’m not saying Florida is in an identical situation, but I did sign on to an amicus and I will continue to sign on to an amicus brief, when they affect states' rights,” she said at the time.

But Florida is not among the more than dozen states listed on briefs supporting California’s Proposition 8 or the Defense of Marriage Act.

Organizers of the multi-state effort sent invites to all states (as is custom) and there were informal inquires in Tallahassee that, we're told, went unanswered.

Given the shifting political attitudes on gay marriage, we wondered if something changed.

“There have been countless amicus briefs filed, and the court has all the information it needs to thoroughly consider the issues presented,” Bondi spokeswoman Jenn Meale said.

In a follow-up email, Meale added, "The attorney general believes that the Constitution gives each state the freedom to debate and decide the issue of same sex marriage and that it would be a mistake for the court to impose a uniform rule on the nation at this time.”

During an August 2010 GOP primary event in Miami, Bondi pledged to oppose gay marriage, though the issue hasn't been a hot one in Florida.

[Last modified: Wednesday, March 27, 2013 7:34pm]

    

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