Florida’s 2nd District Court of Appeals asks FL Supreme Court to rule on marriage

Today, the Second District Court of Appeals in Florida (a state appellate court) urged the Florida Supreme Court to hear and rule on the question of whether same-sex couples can marry in the state. To be clear, the Florida Supreme Court has not said it will review the case, but this is a sign of continually growing momentum for marriage in Florida, a reminder that every day same-sex couples are denied the freedom to marry, real families are hurt. 

In a Florida case seeking respect for a same-sex couple's marriage for the purpose of its dissolution, the Second District Court of Appeals ruled en banc that the case should be passed to the Florida Supreme Court. The Court said:

We therefore certify that the order on appeal requires immediate resolution by the Florida Supreme Court because the issues pending are of great public importance and will have a great effect on the proper administration of justice throughout the state. ... The issue was whether Florida's ban on same-sex marriage and the prohibition on recognizing such marriages unconstitutionally limits various constitutional guaranties including full faith and credit, access to courts, equal protection, and the right to travel.

Resolution of the constitutional questions will no doubt impact far more individuals than the two involved here. And there can be little doubt that until the constitutional questions are finally resolved by the Florida Supreme Court or the United States Supreme Court, there will be a great impact on the proper administration of justice in Florida. Similarly, in light of those questions, it seems clear that this is a matter of great public importance.

Read the ruling, in Shaw v. Shaw, here

This summer, five separate judges in Florida have ruled in favor of the freedom to marry, with four circuit court judges agreeing that the ban on marriage for same-sex couples is unconstitutional and just last week, a federal judge striking down the ban, too. All of the orders have been stayed pending appeal. Learn all about marriage litigation in Florida here. 

Stratton Pollitzer, Deputy Director of Equality Florida, explained today:

his is what we’ve been asking for all along. We’re thrilled that the 2nd DCA agrees that marriage equality is an issue of such urgency and importance that it should be elevated directly to the Florida Supreme Court. We hope that the 3rd DCA in Miami will follow suit and request that the marriage cases pending before them also be moved directly to the Florida Supreme Court. We need a final resolution, not another appeal, because every day this discriminatory ban remains in place causes significant and irreparable harm to our families

Freedom to Marry is proud to work with Equality Florida through Southerners for the Freedom to Marry in amplifying supporters from across the state who support marriage for all. Keep up with all of the news in Florida with Equality Florida and Southerners for the Freedom to Marry.