Another Florida judge rules against the state’s gay marriage ban


People gathered at the Palm Beach County Courthouse to show support for an earlier gay marriage ruling by a judge in Monroe County. (Jim Rassol/Ft. Lauderdale Sun Sentinel via Reuters)

Another day, another Florida judge ruling that the state’s gay marriage ban is unconstitutional.

State Circuit Court Judge Dale Cohen ruled on Monday against Florida’s same-sex marriage ban, the Miami Herald reports. The ruling marked the third time in less than three weeks that a Florida judge has ruled the ban unconstitutional, although Cohen, the Herald reported, “immediately stayed his decision pending an appeal by the state of Florida.”

The case centers on out-of-state unions, which Florida does not recognize. Heather Brassner, a South Florida woman who wanted to get a divorce from her partner, Megan Lade, brought the case. The two got a civil union in Vermont in 2002 but have since separated. Brasnner wants a divorce but can’t track Lade down. She’s even hired a private investigator, but to no avail.

Cohen, the circuit court judge, had said that before he could grant the divorce he would have to rule on the constitutionality of Florida’s voter-approved 2008 gay marriage ban. On July 25, a different judge  overturned the ban for Miami-Dade County. And on July 17, a similar ruling came from a judge in Monroe County, which includes the Florida Keys. But implementation of those rulings has also been delayed to allow time for the state to appeal.

At least one of the cases could make its way to the Supreme Court.

Elahe Izadi is a general assignment national reporter for The Washington Post. She can be reached at elahe.izadi@washpost.com and on Twitter @ElaheIzadi.
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