Monday, December 22, 2014

It's Not Over Until The Fat Lady Sings!


Florida's same-sex marriage ban has been declared unconstitutional, but it's still on the books. This is creating some confusion.
Top law firm Greenberg Traurig — which advised county clerks in Florida they risk criminal charges if they issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples — on Friday announced it actually supports the couples’ right to marry. 
“The advice provided by Greenberg Traurig to our client, the Florida Association of Clerks and Comptrollers, addresses a Florida clerk’s duties under existing Florida law, which prohibits the issuance of same-sex marriage licenses. Current Florida law makes it a crime — punishable by imprisonment or a fine — to issue a marriage license to a same-sex couple. Greenberg Traurig is not advising the clerks as to the constitutionality of the Florida ban on same-sex marriage,” Hilarie Bass, the firm’s Miami-based co-president, said in a statement to the Miami Herald.
Cue family law attorney Nancy K. Brodzki.

As they say in the movies, we can do this the easy way or we can do this the hard way. Pam Bondi, meet Mama Cass.

UPDATE: stolen from actual gay blog Joe My God.
"Any Florida clerk who refuses to follow the Constitution's command and who withholds marriage licenses from couples once the stay expires is on the wrong side of history and the wrong side of the law.  A discredited memo from a law firm won't provide much protection against the risk of being sued for unconstitutional actions and being held liable for any damages - and attorney fees - incurred by couples as a result of withholding the freedom to marry. There is one Constitution, Florida is one state, and all Floridians are entitled to equal treatment throughout the state." 
- Shannon Minter, Legal Director for the National Center for Lesbian Rights, via press release.


Anonymous said...

I'll repost my earlier comment to see if anyone knows the answer to this:

In light of the Greenberg Traurig memo, which states that the N.D. Fla. ruling only applies to one county in N. Florida, does anyone know if Harvey Ruvin and Howard Forman will be issuing licenses to same sex couples on Jan. 6th, absent any further guidance from the N.D. Fla.? I know Monroe County has said it will issue but Jacksonville (Duval), for instance, said it won't.

Godwhacker said...

This situation is rapidly evolving, so much so that I was hesitant to post on it. We still have plenty of time for the state to issue guidance to the clerks, so as to achieve that uniformity Pam Bondi claims to desire. Otherwise this could turn into a real mess.

The Osceola County clerk of court said Friday that it will open at 12:01 a.m. January 6th, and these will likely be the first same sex marriages in the state.

I will certainly post more when I know more.

Anonymous said...

"Say nighty-night and kiss me;
Just hold me tight and tell me you'll miss me.

While I'm alone, blue as can be,
Dream a little dream of me."

Anonymous said...

GT - Yuck on this one.