Florida Same-Sex Couples Ask For Ban on Marriage to be Deemed Unconstitutional
Six couples are challenging the State of Florida’s refusal to permit same-sex marriage
The USA is making some serious strides to promote and accept the marriage between same-sex couples. Over the last several years, many states have come to terms with the fact that LGBT persons are all around and are deserving of basic human rights. The big one is being the right to marry. In Miami, the plaintiffs asked a state court to rule that Florida’s ban on marriage equality is unconstitutional.
In their motion, the six couples and Equality Florida Institute argue that Florida’s ban on marriage equality violates the Equal Protection and Due Process Clauses of the United States Constitution.
The couples’ motion asserts that Florida’s marriage ban cannot stand in light of the Supreme Court’s ruling last June that the federal “Defense of Marriage Act” (DOMA) violates the federal constitutional guarantees of equal protection and due process. The couples’ papers note that 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 same-sex couples. This includes federal courts in Utah, Ohio, Oklahoma, Kentucky, Illinois, Michigan, Tennessee, Texas, and Virginia.
The couples are from Miami and the surrounding area. Four of the couples are raising children, and another couple has an adult child and two grandchildren. The couples are: Catherina Pareto and Karla Arguello; Dr. Juan Carlos Rodriguez and David Price; Vanessa and Melanie Alenier; Todd and Jeff Delmay; Summer Greene and Pamela Faerber; and Don Price Johnston and Jorge Isaias Diaz. They are represented by the law firm Carlton Fields Jorden Burt, Elizabeth F. Schwartz, Mary B. Meeks, and the National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR).
“We’ve built a family together over the last 14 years,” says Pareto. “We want the opportunity to get married in our home state, where our relationship will be recognized and our family will have the same security that any other family in Florida enjoys.”
Catherine and Karla have a 1-year-old son and are hoping he is able to grow up see that the state recognizes his family.
“The law should treat all families fairly,” says Equality Florida Institute’s Executive Director Nadine Smith. “Florida’s marriage ban makes it harder for same-sex couples to take care of one another and protect their children. We are confident when we have our day in court Florida will stand with other courts across the country in concluding these laws violate the basic principles of fairness and equality for all.”
Equality Florida Institute
Equality Florida Institute is the state’s largest civil rights organization dedicated to securing full equality for Florida’s LGBT community. Since its inception, the organization has represented the interests of LGBT Floridians through public education, coalition building, advocacy and grassroots organizing. Equality Florida Institute also coordinates public education campaigns and events for policymakers, LGBT people, and the public at large on issues affecting the LGBT community. Equality Florida Institute members include many same-sex couples that long for the freedom to marry and would marry in Florida if Florida law permitted them to do so.