In an unusual move, the Florida Supreme Court justices today decided to rule on case involving the state's same-sex marriage ban, according to the Orlando Sentinel. The case will skip the traditional appeal process after the Second District Court of Appeal directly asked the Florida Supreme Court to take on the case due to "great public importance."
This particularly case involves a lesbian couple who married in Massachusetts and then tried to get divorced in Florida. A Hillsborough County judged denied them divorce based on the state's same-sex marriage ban. The former couple then appealed, but the appeals court wants to kick the case straight up to the Florida Supreme Court.
"Resolution of the constitutional questions will no doubt impact far more individuals than the two involved here," read the opinion from the court. "And there can be little doubt that until the constitutional questions are finally resolved by the Florida Supreme Court or the United States Supreme Court, there will be a great impact on the proper administration of justice in Florida."
Several judges in Florida have recently ruled the ban unconstitutional. Attorney General Pam Bondi, who is up for reelection in November, will appeal all of those decisions. She has asked judges in the state to stop ruling on gay marriage and ultimately wants the situation decided by the U.S. Supreme Court. A federal decision would affect the entire country and may be decided in cases not related to Florida.
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A Florida Supreme Court decision would take into account federal and state law. Florida's Supreme Court has strong liberal and even-stronger conservative members but is generally considered a slightly left-of-moderate body.
Of course, only in Florida could the fate of same-sex marriage be decided by a divorce case.