A state judge on Monday declared
Florida's ban on gay marriage unconstitutional.
Broward Circuit Judge Dale Cohen
declared the ban, adopted by voters in 2008, invalid and ordered
Florida officials to recognize the civil union of Heather Brassner
and Megan Lade for the purpose of a divorce.
“Florida's prohibition on same-sex
marriage denies some citizens, based on their sexual orientation, the
fundamental right to marry, and does so without a legitimate state
wrote. “This Court finds these laws are unconstitutional and
GRANTS the Petitioner's Motion For Declaratory Relief, declaring
Florida's ban on same-sex marriage unconstitutional.”
Cohen's ruling is not surprising given
that he handed down the same judgment in August. However, Cohen
vacated his ruling after learning that the state was not properly
Brassner and Lade entered a Vermont
civil union in 2002. According to Brassner, the relationship soured
four years ago after Lade cheated on her and soon after disappeared.
A divorce in Vermont is not possible
because the state wants Lade to sign off on the split.
Brassner told The Miami Herald
in August that she's ready to move on and perhaps one day marry her
Last week, a federal appeals court
refused to block a separate ruling ordering Florida officials to
begin issuing marriage licenses to gay couples after January 5.
couples in Florida may begin marrying after January 5.)