Federal Judge Florida’s Gay Marriage Ban Unconstitutional
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“When observers look back 50 years from now, the arguments supporting Florida’s ban on same-sex marriage, though just as sincerely held, will again seem an obvious pretext for discrimination,” wrote U.S District Judge Robert L. Hinkle of Tallahassee. “Observers who are not now of age will wonder just how those views could have been held.”
Hinkle, who stayed most of the effects of his ruling pending appeal, added: “The institution of marriage survived when bans on interracial marriage were struck down, and the institution will survive when bans on same-sex marriage are struck down. Liberty, tolerance, and respect are not zero-sum concepts. Those who enter opposite-sex marriages are harmed not at all when others, including these plaintiffs, are given the liberty to choose their own life partners and are shown the respect that comes with formal marriage. Tolerating views with which one disagrees is a hallmark of civilized society.”
The judge’s ruling comes after 22 individuals, including nine married couples, sued Florida to recognize their marriages or grant them marriage licenses. Plaintiffs in the case include eight same-sex couples from throughout Florida and the LGBT-rights group SAVE, represented by the ACLU of Florida.
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