Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi on
Friday asked a federal judge not to lift a stay on a ruling that
struck down the state's ban on gay marriage.
U.S. District Judge Robert L. Hinkle
put his August 21 ruling on hold until after the Supreme Court has
considered requests for review from cases challenging similar bans in
Utah, Oklahoma and Virginia. The high court on October 6 decided
against hearing those appeals, along with two others from Wisconsin
and Indiana, allowing gay and lesbian couples to begin exchanging
vows in those states.
The following day, the ACLU of Florida
asked Hinkle to allow his ruling to take effect.
“In light of yesterday's pathbreaking
development, Plaintiffs respectfully submit that the Court should
lift the stay immediately,” wrote lawyers for the plaintiffs, 22
individuals, including nine married couples.
Bondi has already appealed the case to
the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta and would likely
turn to that court if Hinkle did not extend his stay.
Nadine Smith, CEO of LGBT rights
advocate Equality Florida, accused Bondi of playing politics.
“Time and time again, [Bondi's] had
the opportunity to stand on the right side of history and stop
pandering to her conservative base by denying marriage to loving
couples,” Smith said in a statement.
“We hope and believe that Judge
Hinkle will reject Bondi's request to delay marriages in Florida
while she continues her senseless appeals, just as the 9th Circuit
Court of Appeals and the U.S. Supreme Court have refused to postpone
same sex marriages in Idaho and Alaska while those states continued
their appeals. It’s time to stop playing politics with people’s