The Florida Supreme Court on Friday
sent back a case challenging the state's ban on gay marriage.
The case involves two Tampa women who
married in Massachusetts, the first state to legalize marriage for
gay couples in 2004. A Hillsborough County judge denied Mariama
Changamire and Keiba Lynn Shaw's request for a divorce, citing the
state's ban on recognizing such unions.
The Second District Court of Appeal
refused an appeal in the case, saying it should go directly to the
state's highest court because of its “high public importance.”
According to The
Tampa Tribune, the high court sent back the case, saying that
the appellate court should first rule on the case.
Lawyer Brett Rahall, who represents one
of women, expressed confidence that the appeals court would allow the
couple to divorce.
“To me, it has absolutely no
indication whatsoever on the merits on the case and what the final
outcome is going to be,” he said.
Voters in 2008 overwhelmingly approved
the state's constitutional amendment excluding gay couples from
marriage. But increasingly voters have expressed buyer's remorse,
percent of Floridians saying they support marriage equality.
Five judges, including
a federal judge, have in recent weeks declared the state's ban