Same-Sex Couples File Lawsuit to Overturn Florida's Gay Marriage Ban
Following the lead of successful lawsuits in Utah and Oklahoma in recent months, six same-sex couples in Florida plan to sue the state in order to overturn ban on same-sex marriage.
Back in 2008, Florida voters narrowly approved a constitutional amendment that banned not only gay marriage but any recognition of gay relationships in the state. Now, just over four years later, polling show that nearly 75 percent of Floridians approve of some sort of recognition of gay couples.
The National Center for Lesbian Rights filed the lawsuit, and the ACLU and Equality Florida have publicly backed the suit but aren't involved legally.
"Marriage equality is inevitable and coming soon for Floridians because brave couples are demanding the dignity under the law that marriage provides," said Daniel Tilley, a staff attorney for the ACLU in a statement. "We are hopeful that the court hearing this case will agree with courts across the country that the Constitution requires that same-sex couples be permitted to marry."
Most of the couples involve come from Miami and the surrounding South Florida area. Four of the couples are currently raising children, while another has an adult child and are now grandparents.
"Florida is our home, it is where we are raising our child, and where we want to get married," Catherine Pareto, who has been with her partner Karla Arguello, told the Huffington Post in a statement. "Karla and I wish for our family the same things that other families want. We want to build our lives together, provide a safe and caring home for our child, and share in the responsibilities and protections of marriage."
Though polls show greater support in the state for legal recognition, support for full-out marriage hovers now at just above 50 percent depending on which poll you're looking at. In order to overturn the ban of gay marriage at the polls, an amendment would need 60 percent of the vote. However, Florida's state government could also take action to overturn the ban, but that's unlikely to happen in Republican-controlled Tallahassee.