WFSU News Team
Fri May 9, 2014
Next Week, Judge To Hear From Groups Hoping To Defend Gay Marriage Ban In Court
A hearing has been scheduled for next week in a Miami lawsuit challenging Florida’s constitutional ban on gay marriage. A judge will decide whether to allow several socially conservative groups the chance to defend the ban in court.
The suit was filed by six same-sex couples with help from LGBT-rights group Equality Florida and the National Center for Lesbian Rights. Next week circuit judge Sarah Zabel will hear arguments from the Florida Family Policy Council and other groups trying to intervene on behalf of voters who put the same-sex union ban in the state constitution.
Equality Florida Director Nadine Smith says she’s doesn’t think the judge will approve the groups’ request.
“There’s no logic behind banning gay people from marrying," Smith says. "There’s only prejudice and animosity that gets in the way of us taking care of our loved ones. And we think that’s what the courts will rule.”
Even if the judge does allow the groups to join the suit in opposition to the couples, Smith says Equality Florida still believes it's an open-and-shut case. In fact, the group filed a motion last week asking the judge to rule Florida’s ban unconstitutional without any further proceedings.
The state case is happening at the same time similar suits have been filed in Florida-based federal courts, as well as in federal courts across the country. LGBT-rights activists hope to advance at least one of the cases to the U.S. Supreme Court in order to topple all state bans on same-gender marriage.