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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Florida reaction to gay marriage ruling



UPDATE 6:30 p.m. As of this time we have not gotten any reaction from Florida Republicans (aside from Bondi), including Gov. Scott and Sen. Marco Rubio.

UPDATE: 7:55 p.m. Gov. Scott spokesman John Tupps: "Governor Scott supports traditional marriage, consistent with the amendment approved by Florida voters in 2008, but does not believe that anyone should be discriminated against for any reason."

Florida reaction to the gay marriage ruling:

Attorney General Pam Bondi said she would appeal, and spokeswoman says: "With many similar cases pending throughout the entire country, finality on this constitutional issue must come from the U.S. Supreme Court."

Sen. Bill Nelson: "We’ll see whether the state appeals. Meantime, as I’ve said, I believe it's wrong to discriminate against any class of people including on civil marriage.”

Democratic candidate for governor Charlie Crist: "Today was a great step towards equality in Florida. It is my hope that Governor Scott and Attorney General Bondi will accept the decision of the judge and allow all Florida adults to marry the person they love."

Florida Democratic Party Chair Allison Tant: “As we have seen time and time again over the last few months, when marriage equality bans are challenged in the courts, love wins. This is a tremendous victory for LGBT Floridians in Monroe County, and we look forward to soon celebrating full marriage equality across the state.”

Democratic AG candidate Perry Thurston: “Today is a great day for equality. I am thrilled by the decision of Judge Garcia and for LGBT couples in Monroe County. It is yet another reason for Pam Bondi to drop her ridiculous defense of this unconstitutional law like red and blue state Attorneys General across the country. It is time stop wasting taxpayer dollars on her ideological crusade and stand up for the rights of all citizens.”

ACLU of Florida LGBT rights staff attorney Daniel Tilley: “The ruling today is an important victory for thousands of loving couples in Florida. This is the beginning of the end of the marriage ban and of marriage discrimination in Florida. We congratulate Aaron and William on this important victory and look forward to celebrating the day that all Floridians can have their marriage to the person they love be honored by the state they call home.”

John Stemberger of the Florida Family Policy Council, who pushed for 2008 ban: "Today's ruling by Judge Garcia, in the Florida Keys, is a stunning act of legal arrogance and raw judicial activism. With one stoke of a pen, a mere trial judge has attempted to overthrow an act of direct democracy by five million Floridians who defined marriage as the union of one man and one woman. Judge Garcia has ignored the constitution, ignored the will of the people, and has asserted his own personal views over the rule of law.  This ruling is precisely what voters were trying to prevent when they overwhelmingly defined marriage in the Florida Constitution in 2008 by a 62% vote. Judge Garcia's reliance on the Windsor decision by the U.S. Supreme Court in 2012 is wrong sided and completely misplaced. Windsor was a state's rights decision and affirmed that each state has the right to define marriage. Instead of relying on the constitution, Garcia joined the judicial stampede of other lower federal judges who have tried to override marriage laws based on no precedent other than their own political agendas. The judge's opinion that the motivation for passing the marriage amendment was animus and hatred is simply outrageous and insults five million Floridians. We thank Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi for filing an immediate appeal to the court to stay its order until the federal courts can rule on the constitutional issues and appeal this insubordinate decision."

Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Weston: "Judge Luis Garcia took a bold and historic step today by declaring Florida's ban on same-sex marriage unconstitutional. Even in the face of Attorney General Bondi's statement that she will appeal the decision, I believe in my heart of hearts that this is the beginning of the end of discrimination based on who you love in our state. There can be no denying the national march toward full marriage equality and Florida is overdue in finally falling in step with ensuring equal treatment under the law. Judge Garcia has taken the movement for marriage equality to the next step, and I know I speak for millions of Floridians when I say that I cannot wait to celebrate the day when marriage is just marriage, and love is just love, in our great state."

Rep. Joe Garcia, D-Miami: “Today is a proud and historic moment for our district, our community, and our state” declared Garcia. “I am hopeful that today’s ruling will help pave the path for other communities to honor equality and provide equal justice for all.”

[Last modified: Thursday, July 17, 2014 7:57pm]


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