Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Stemberger and Staver file preemptive lawsuit in Florida

John Stemberger's Florida Family Policy Counsel and Mat Staver's Liberty Council have joined forces in an attempt to slow the progress of equality in the Sunshine State. It's the American Way. They have filed suit in the Ninth Judicial Circuit Court of Florida in Orlando which covers Orange and Osceola counties. One lawsuit was filed against Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer and Ninth Judicial Circuit Court Judge Bob LeBlanc. A second lawsuit has been filed against Osceola County Clerk of Court Armando Ramirez in Kissimmee.

Mayor Dyer and Judge LeBlanc have both said that they will officiate same-sex marriages.  For his part, Mr. Ramirez has stated that his office will issue marriage licenses.

In both cases, Florida Family Action (represented by Liberty Council) is seeking writs of mandamus. Essentially such writs compel government officials to do their duty. It's up to the trial judge to determine what that duty is. They might have a shot against Ramirez but the other suit against the mayor and judge should be promptly dismissed.

Staver and Stemberger are both Florida residents. Each had a hand in crafting our state's same-sex marriage ban which was passed by voters in 2008.

A US District Court in rural Washington County ruled in favor of marriage equality. The US Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit refused to hear an appeal and the United States Supreme Court refused to stay the lower court decision. Marriages are to begin on Monday, January 5, 2015. The law firm representing the clerks' association has issued a legal opinion to the effect that the decisions, thus far, only affect Washington County. Meanwhile the ACLU has promised to sue clerks who do not issue marriage licenses. At this point we really don't know who will and who won't stand in our way. This is all typical Florida. Just look at who the fuck we reelected as governor. Remember Allen West?

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