Gay Marriage Cases Won't Jump Directly to Florida Supreme Court

The fate of Florida's gay marriage ban won't jump directly to Florida's Supreme Court. The Third District Court of Appeal denied Attorney General Pam Bondi's request to have the case bypass the lower courts and has decided to rule on the matter itself.

Bondi had originally hoped that the question would be answered by the U.S. Supreme Court, but earlier this month SCOTUS turned away a case involving gay marriage in other states. That decision allowed gay marriage to go forward in those states, but left the fate of gay marriage hanging in Florida.

"That is unquestionably an important issue, and the Plaintiffs, the State, and all citizens deserve a definitive answer," Bondi said at the time, and requested that the state Supreme Court take up the issue.

Over the summer, judges in Monroe, Miami-Dade, and Broward ruled that Florida's ban on recognition of same-sex relationships violated the U.S. Constitution, but all those decisions were stayed as they made their way through the appeals process.

The Third District Court of Appeal's decision means that it's unlikely Floridians will get an answer before Election Day.

Of course, the results of those elections could also decide the future of gay marriage in Florida. Democratic gubernatorial candidate Charlie Crist and attorney general candidate George Sheldon have both said they would let the lower court's decisions stand.

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