Exciting news out of Florida yesterday. County Circuit Judge Luis Garcia ruled Florida’s ban on same-sex marriage was unconstitutional. Marriages can begin on Tuesday. However, his decision only applies to Monroe County.
This decision marks the 25th consecutive win for marriage equality.
The wins are coming so fast, I can barely keep up. In the week and a half that I was away, four other decisions also came out:
In Utah, the first decision by an appeals court was issued. The appeals court upheld the District Court’s opinion that Utah’s same sex marriage ban was unconstitutional. The only place left to go from here is the Supreme Court. Utah is also fighting a battle not to recognize the marriages of approximately 1,300 couples that were married last winter.
That same day, Indiana had its marriage ban struck down. U.S. District Court Judge Richard Young said the ban violated the Equal Protection Clause of the Constitution. Marriages began immediately, but were halted two days later by the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals.
Kentucky, Indiana’s border-state rival, also lost its ban on marriage equality. U.S. Judge John Heyburn II held that the law violated equal protection. Heyburn also ruled a few months before that Kentucky must recognize valid same-sex marriages performed in other states. Both rulings have been stayed pending appeal.
Lastly, Adams County District Court Judge Scott Crabtree struck down Colorado’s prohibition on same-sex marriage. Crabtree stated the prohibition conflicted with the fundamental right to marry.
At present, 19 states plus D.C. recognize same-sex marriages. I came across a cool timeline on Freedom to Marry’s website that tracks the history of the battle for marriage equality (except for the most recent decisions).
As I’ve said before, it’s such an exciting and optimistic time for a lot of us. Stay tuned!