Today a Republican-appointed state judge struck down Florida’s ban on marriage for committed same-sex couples in what is now the 25th consecutive ruling by a federal or state court in favor of the freedom to marry in the past year. Chief Circuit Judge Luis Garcia was appointed by former Governor Jeb Bush and reelected in 2002 and 2008. The case, Huntsman v. Heavilin, was filed in Key West, and as of now the ruling ony applies to Monroe County.
Evan Wolfson, president of Freedom to Marry, released the following statement:
“Like an unprecedented wave of state and federal courts across the country this past year, Judge Garcia did the right thing in affirming that committed same-sex couples share in the precious constitutional freedom to marry the person we love. Florida’s same-sex couples and their loved ones want what all families want: joy, protections, security, and respect – just what the freedom to marry is all about. We can now add Florida’s voice to the urgent need for the Supreme Court to take a freedom to marry case and bring the entire country to national resolution, ending marriage discrimination across America.”
Same-sex couples can marry in 19 states and the District of Columbia, meaning that 44% of Americans now live in states where gay couples share in the freedom to marry. Recent polling by the Washington Post/ABC News shows 59% of Americans support the freedom to marry, while other polling shows that the support includes a majority in the American South.
Since last year’s landmark Supreme Court decision striking down the core of the so-called Defense of Marriage Act, 25 consecutive rulings have struck down state marriage bans as unconstitutional.