Gay-Rights Group Considering Lawsuit Challenging Fla. Same-Sex Marriage Ban

Jul 2, 2013

Gay-rights protesters rally at the Florida Capitol in March.
Credit Jessica Palombo / WFSU-FM

A Florida gay-rights group might file a legal challenge to the state’s gay-marriage ban. The plan comes on the heels of the U.S. Supreme Court’s striking down a key provision of the Defense of Marriage Act last week.

When Equality Florida called for potential plaintiffs in its suit, more than 200 couples responded within a day.  The group’s deputy director, Stratton Pollitzer, said the challenge to Florida’s same-sex marriage ban would center on a violation of the U.S. Constitution’s equal protection clause. And with hundreds of couples interested in being party to the suit, he says it could be a class action.

"Or a suit where we just have two or three couples involved whose story highlights the discriminatory way that Florida’s Amendment 2 violates the equal protection clause. ”

Pollitzer says the high court’s decision in the DOMA case gives gay-rights groups a new precedent that strengthens their argument.

Equality Florida is considering a public referendum opposing the marriage ban.  The ballot initiative starting it passed in 2008 with 62 percent approval.