Gay Marriage Advocates Exploring Whether Appeal Is Possible In Florida Keys Stay

Jul 18, 2014

Equality Florida held a dozen celebrations around the state after Thursday's Monroe County ruling. This wedding cake was at the Tampa celebration.
Credit Equality Florida via Facebook

Florida gay-marriage advocates are exploring legal options to get Monroe County to be allowed to issue same-sex marriage licenses. State Attorney General Pam Bondi immediately appealed a judge’s ruling Thursday—at least temporarily stopping wedding plans in the Florida Keys.

For a short time Thursday, it looked like same-sex couples could start getting married soon in the Keys.

“I have a feeling that there were a couple of hours yesterday where guest houses were getting a lot of reservations for next week," says Equality Florida Deputy Director Stratton Pollitzer. 

He says advocates’ celebrations were painfully cut short when Bondi appealed—setting in motion an automatic stay that prevents the Monroe County judge’s ruling from taking effect until an appeals court weighs in.  The group is hanging on to a "sliver of hope" they can appeal the stay, Pollitzer says.

Despite their setback, he says gay couples should focus on the court victory—it’s the 25th time a U.S. judge has upheld gay marriage and the first time the Florida ban was tossed.

“We are on a path towards marriage, and we’re not going to be turned back," he says. 

Pollitzer says the group also expects gay marriage rulings soon in a state case filed in Miami and a federal case filed in Tallahassee. Those decisions could ultimately be appealed to the Florida State Supreme Court or the U.S. Supreme Court.