TALLAHASSEE, Florida — Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi wants a federal judge to keep the state's ban on gay marriage in place despite a recent U.S. Supreme Court decision.
Bondi on Friday contended in a court filing that there was a "great public interest in stability of the law" and that the ban should remain intact while the legal battles continue.
The U.S. Supreme Court earlier this month chose not to hear appeals from five states seeking to prohibit gay and lesbian unions. The court's decision prompted the American Civil Liberties Union of Florida as well as lawyers representing same-sex couples to ask a federal judge in Tallahassee to allow same-sex marriages.
U.S. District Judge Robert Hinkle this summer ruled Florida's ban is unconstitutional, but stayed the ruling until other cases around the country were resolved. He said at the time he would not allow any change until 90 days after the resolution of other cases that were pending with the Supreme Court.
Bondi is representing two agencies under Gov. Rick Scott and a county court clerk named in the lawsuit. She said in her court filing that the stay should remain in place until after an Atlanta appeals court hears the Florida lawsuit. She also said that no changes should be made until the Florida Supreme Court makes a ruling in cases filed in state courts.
"It is in the public interest to at least allow Florida's highest court an opportunity to review the issue before ordering changes to Florida's law," states the filing.
Those fighting Florida's same-sex marriage ban blasted Bondi's decision.
"It's disappointing that Attorney General Bondi and Gov. Rick Scott have chosen to continue to swim against the tide of inevitable history and block Florida families from having the protections that come with being married," said ACLU of Florida attorney Daniel Tilley. "Love won in Florida when Judge Hinkle ruled in favor of the families in our case. Whatever obligation Attorney General Bondi felt she had to continue defending this unconstitutional and discriminatory ban ended that day."
Bondi has maintained that she is doing her constitutional duty to defend the ban since it was adopted by the state's voters in 2008.
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