Oral arguments were heard in Miami July 2nd on a motion filed in May by six gay & lesbian couples & Equality Florida Institute challenging Florida laws barring gay marriage. The couples asked the court to strike down Florida’s marriage ban & order the state to allow gay & lesbian couples to marry. The couples argue that Florida’s ban on marriage equality cannot stand in light of the United States Supreme Court’s ruling in June 2013 that the federal “Defense of Marriage Act” violates the federal constitutional guarantees of equal protection & due process. Nadine Smith CEO Equality Florida Institute stated, “We are proud to stand with these courageous families who have stepped forward to defend their families & challenge a law that serves no purpose than to disparage & discriminate against gay couples & our children. We are optimistic that the judge will rule in favor of equality & fairness, as judges across the country have, & strike down this ban. The tide has turned, & the day is coming when anti-gay marriage laws will meet the same fate as laws banning interracial marriage that limited my parents’ options.” Every court to consider these federal constitutional claims since last summer’s Supreme Court decision has ruled in favor of the freedom to marry for gay & lesbian couples, including federal & state courts in Utah, Ohio, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Kentucky, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia & Wisconsin.
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