Florida Gay Rights Group Says “Hold Off On Same-Sex Marriage Legal Challenges”
According to Orlando Sentinel, Gay Rights groups in Florida is telling LGBT couples to hold off on same-sex marriage legal challenges.
A coalition of civil-rights groups led by Equality Florida, the ACLU, the National Center for Lesbian Rights and others is planning to eventually challenge the state’s 2008 constitutional amendment barring same-sex marriage.
But “eventually” might not be cutting it for some Florida would-be spouses. In a release issued Sunday night, the groups cautioned individual supporters against filing lawsuits so soon after the U.S. Supreme Court’s decisions last month striking down part of the federal Defense of Marriage Act and California’s Prop 8 same-sex marriage ban.
The rationale: while groups in eight other states have already filed federal challenges in “strategic” locales where they hope to build precedent for overturning state gay marriage bans, Florida rests in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit, which is considered one of the more conservative federal appeals courts.
With the high court’s ruling, some 30 percent of the U.S. population now lives in states recognizing same-sex marriage, while the other 37 states who don’t are likely to become the new fronts in battles to level those rights.
But the groups seemed to write off another ballot initiative in Florida, citing other states that passed referenda but were short of the 60 percent majority Florida required to amend it’s constitution. While public opinion in Florida on the issue has shifted since passing Florida’s ban, it likely isn’t enough to justify a major campaign and millions in fundraising required.