Surprising absolutely no one, yet another judge has ruled that a state ban on same-sex marriage is unconstitutional. This time in the sunny state of Florida. Circuit Court Judge Sarah Zabel in Miami-Dade County said the state's ban denied due process and equal protection, and because she's a badass, also "basic human decency."
It serves only to hurt, to discriminate, to deprive same-sex couples and their families of equal dignity, to label and treat them as second-class citizens, and to deem them unworthy of participation in one of the fundamental institutions of our society.
Of course, unsurprisingly, the ruling has been stayed. The state's attorney general, Pam Bondi, has already appealed the ruling, however, she's probably aware that even if this heads to the Florida Supreme Court, her appeal is not likely to succeed. So far, there have been about twenty decisions striking down state level same-sex marriage bans, in large measure because of the precedent set by the Supreme Court of the United States in its own decision striking down the Defense of Marriage Act. Most of these rulings are on hold.
Don Price Johnston (above left) and Jorge Diaz (above right) are two of the plaintiffs in the Miami case ruled on by Judge Zabel. Although they say they are eager to finally become legally married, Johnston says they can be patient for a little longer.
It's not like we're going to lose. We just have to wait. I have been waiting for more than 25 years for this right. A few more months won't kill me.
Although Zabel's ruling is the most recent, it's not the first. The ban has also been ruled unconstitutional in Monroe County in the Florida keys. That ruling has also been stayed. While these rulings both only apply to their respective counties, the arguments used by the judges follow the legal arguments of other judges and justices in various jurisdictions around the country. The arguments themselves do not pertain just to these two counties. Another ruling is expected in a case filed in Tallahassee. The ruling in that case would have a state wide effect, and is largely expected to follow the other rulings so far handed down. As Johnston stated so clearly, the writing is pretty much on the wall.
No, Florida, you can't keep your ban, either.
Images via AP.