Three Florida counties will end
courthouse weddings in the new year, at least in part to avoid
marrying gay and lesbian couples when it becomes legal next week.
A federal judge's ruling striking down
Florida's gay marriage ban will likely take effect on Tuesday.
wants judge to decide scope of gay marriage ruling.)
According to The
Florida Times-Union, Duval Clerk of Courts Ronnie Fussell,
Clay Clerk Tara Green and Baker Clerk Stacie Harvey said that the
looming ruling was just one of multiple factors that contributed to
the decision to end courthouse weddings.
“It was decided as a team, as an
office, this would be what we do so that there wouldn't be any
discrimination,” Fussell said. “The easiest way is to not do
them at all.”
Nadine Smith, executive director of
Equality Florida, called the decision “outrageous.”
“I think it would be outrageous for
clerks to change the rules simply because gay couples are getting
married,” she told the paper.
Baker Clerk Harvey said that the space
used for weddings was being repurposed.
“I needed the space and our county
we're in the Bible Belt,” she said. “If we're made by the law to
issue a gay marriage license [we will] do that, but we are not
mandated to marry couples in our courthouse.”