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Florida Attorney General: Gay Marriage Would "Impose Significant Public Harm"

Florida Attorney General: Gay Marriage Would "Impose Significant Public Harm"
Photo by George Martinez

Earlier this year eight gay couples and the American Civil Liberties Union sued the state of Florida for failing to recognize their marriages that were performed in other states. Today, Republican Attorney General Pam Bondi's office filed a response asking a judge to throw out the lawsuit.

Bondi's main reasoning: Gay marriage would "impose significant public harm."

According to the Associated Press, Bondi points to the 2008 constitutional amendment that banned the state from recognizing any form of same-sex relationships that was passed by voters, and also claims recognizing gay marriage would cause problems for the state's pension and health insurance program.

The lawsuit however specifically targets that amendment and claims that it's discriminatory and "violates the Due Process Clause and the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution."

Ever since the federal Supreme Court struck down key parts of the Defense of Marriage Act and the federal government began recognizing same sex-marriages, states' individual gay marriage bans have been called into question.

Courts in Utah, Oklahoma, Virginia, Texas, Virginia, Idaho, and Arkansas have ruled gay marriage bans unconstitutional, but those decision have been stayed pending further appeals.

Courts in New Jersey, Illinois, New Mexico, Oregon, and Pennsylvania have also struck down bans since October. Gay marriages are now being performed in those states.

A second lawsuit has also been filed demanding that Florida overturn the gay marriage ban completely.

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