TALLAHASSEE, Florida, April 1, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) – In a final judgment censuring state officials for not accepting legal redefinition of marriage in the state, a federal judge declared Florida’s voter-approved marriage protection law unconstitutional last week.
U.S. District Judge Robert Hinkle criticized Florida state officials’ failure to act in doing away with the Florida marriage law once he’d overturned it and lambasted them “for a history of resistance” against homosexual “marriage.”
After the Supreme Court Obergefell v. Hodges decision “one might have expected immediate, unequivocal acceptance,” Hinkle wrote in his 10-page summary judgment order Thursday. “Not so for the state of Florida.”
Same-sex partners Jim Brenner and Chuck Jones were first to sue over the marriage law, later asking another same-sex couple, Stephen Schlairat and Ozzie Russ, to join the lawsuit. The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) then filed a challenge as well for eight couples and other plaintiffs, and the cases were consolidated.
Approved by Florida voters in 2008, Hinkle had struck the marriage protection law down in August 2014, his decision going into effect in January 2015.
State officials’ handling of birth certificates for children of same-sex couples was also part of what elicited Hinkle’s indignation in this most recent ruling.
An advocacy group and two female couples had sued the state to compel the Department of Health to list both “spouses” on birth certificates for children born into homosexual “marriages,” however Health Department officials maintain they cannot list both same-sex parents because state law mandates the names of the mother and the father be listed on the documents. […]