Target: Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi
Goal: Ask Florida Court to follow through with ruling to lift ban on same-sex marriages
Recently, Monroe County Circuit Judge Luis Garcia decided to overrule the state’s ban on same-sex marriages that has been in place since 2008. However, after Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi filed an appeal, an automatic stay was triggered that would prevent the county from issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples until a decision is made regarding the appeal.
In 2008, Florida’s ban on same-sex marriages was approved by 62 percent of voters. The ban was finally challenged when two bartenders from Key West, Aaron Huntsman and William Lee Jones, filed a lawsuit in hopes of being granted a marriage license. Garcia overruled the marriage ban stating that “the court is aware that the majority of voters oppose same-sex marriage, but it is our country’s proud history to protect the rights of the individual, the rights of the unpopular and rights of the powerless, even at the cost of offending the majority.” Consequently, Garcia added that licenses would be available to same-sex couples immediately.
Unfortunately, this victory was short-lived as Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi filed an appeal. As a result, no same-sex couple can receive a marriage license until Garcia’s ruling is reviewed by the 3rd District Court of Appeal in Miami. In response to the case, Republican, U.S. Representative David Jolly supported the ruling in favor of same-sex marriages due to his belief in limited government and personal liberties, despite his own religious beliefs.
Although the road ahead for same-sex couples in Florida still seems long, Florida is the 18th state to challenge the ban on same-sex marriages. By signing the petition below, you support Circuit Judge Garcia’s decision supporting gay marriage and urge Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi to lift the block on same-sex marriages.
Dear Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi,
Recently, Monroe Circuit Judge Luis Garcia ruled in favor of same-sex marriage, challenging the state’s ban and allowing for the immediate availability of marriage licenses to gay couples. However, due to your appeal, this decision has been rendered powerless and many couples who deserve the right to wed remain in limbo.
Although the 2008 ban on gay marriage was supported by 62 percent of voters in Florida, Judge Garcia’s decision explained that there are occasions for which decisions need to be made contrary to popular opinion in order to protect personal liberties. In addition, Republican U.S. Representative David Jolly supported this sentiment despite his personal Christian beliefs, arguing that the federal government should not infringe on these liberties.
Therefore, I urge you to work towards lifting the block on Judge Garcia’s decision while the appeal is being reviewed by the 3rd District Court of Appeals. Remember that personal beliefs should not dictate court rulings nor should they diminish the civil liberties of others.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Benson Kua via Flickr