Fla. AG: Recognizing Gay Marriage Would 'Impose Significant Public Harm'

May 30, 2014

A protester holds a sign in support of gay marriage in Boston.
Credit Sushiesque via Flickr

Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi says the state’s recognizing same-sex marriages would "impose significant public harm." Bondi made the comment in a motion asking a judge to throw out a federal lawsuit.

Eight same-sex couples filed the suit in March asking the judge to force the state to recognize marriages legally performed out of state. The group Safeguarding American Values for Everyone, or SAVE, is also a party to the suit. SAVE Executive Director Tony Lima says Bondi’s filing represents an outdated viewpoint.

“We expect our governmental leaders to represent us and to fight for all of our rights, and it seems so awful and discriminatory that the attorney general and the governor would have this stance," Lima says. “They’re not really looking at the community at large and seeing what’s best for the people. Because what’s best for the people and what’s best for commerce and what’s best for business is equality. And I think they need to take a really hard look at what their stance is right now and really reconsider.”

Bondi's office says the state has a legitimate interest in defining a marriage as between a man and woman because Florida's voters adopted an amendment in 2008 that banned same-sex marriages. The filing also says same-sex marriage recognition would create significant problems for the state's pension and health insurance programs.