A couple who last week won a case
challenging Florida's gay marriage ban on Monday asked a judge to
allow gay couples to marry despite a pending state appeal.
Monroe County Circuit Judge Luis Garcia
declared the marriage ban unconstitutional and ordered Monroe County
Clerk Amy Heavilin to begin issuing marriage licenses to gay and
lesbian couples on Tuesday, July 22.
judge strikes down state's gay marriage ban.)
Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi on
Friday filed a notice of appeal, placing the ruling on hold.
Plaintiffs Aaron Huntsman, 43, and
William Lee Jones, 42, asked Garcia to lift the automatic stay and
allow gay couples to marry in Monroe County.
“Every day that goes by, plaintiffs
and other same-sex couples are being deprived of important
constitutional rights and suffering additional serious, ongoing, and
irreparable dignitary, legal and economic harms,” lawyers for the
couple argued in filing the motion.
Stratton Pollitzer, deputy director of
Equality Florida, the state's largest LGBT rights advocate, urged
Garcia to lift the stay as an appeal moves forward.
“Denying these couples access to
marriage is a daily insult and a tremendous risk for their families,”
Pollitzer said in an emailed statement. “Imagine if a couple who
has been together for decades experiences the tragedy of one partner
dying while waiting for the appeal to be decided. The damage could
never be undone, and there is absolutely no harm in granting them
those protections while awaiting the appeal.”
It was uncertain when Garcia would