A lawsuit filed Tuesday on behalf of
six gay and lesbian couples and Equality Florida Institute challenges
the constitutionality of Florida's ban on gay marriage.
Florida voters in 2008 approved
Amendment 2, which prohibits the state from recognizing the
relationships of gay couples with civil unions or marriage.
Plaintiffs in the case are being
represented by the National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR) and the
law firm Carlton Fields Jorden Burt.
“The law should support families, not
make it harder for committed couples to support one another and
protect their children,” said Shannon Minter, legal director for
NCLR. “Barring same-sex couples from marriage causes great harms
to their families and children while helping no one.”
The couples – four of which are
raising children and one has an adult child and two grandchildren –
are from Miami and the surrounding area.
The lawsuit argues that Florida's laws
barring same-sex couples from marriage violate the U.S. Constitution.
The Florida case is out of step with recent high-profile cases
challenging similar bans in Oklahoma and Utah. Those cases were
filed in federal courts, while today's case was filed in Florida
state court in Miami.
According to a 2012 Washington Post
majority (54%) of Floridians support marriage equality, while 33
percent remain opposed.