Lawsuit filed against Florida’s ban on marriage equality

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Six same-sex couples, along with the Equality Florida Institute, have filed a lawsuit against Florida’s ban on marriage equality.

“The lawsuit claims that Florida’s law banning same-sex marriage is in direct violation of the United States for our family the same things that other families want. We want to build our lives together, provide a safe and caring home for our child, and share in the responsibilities and protections of marriage,” said Catherina Pareto, the owner of a financial planning firm who has been with partner Karla Arguello for fourteen years. The couple have a fifteen-month-old son together.

Grandmother of two children and parent to one, Summer Greene expressed her concern if same-sex marriage is not passed in the state of Florida: “As Pam and I get older, it worries me that we do not have the legal protections that marriage provides in case one of us becomes ill or dies. Getting married in Florida will provide us with those important protections and it will allow us to celebrate that joyous occasion with all our family and friends, just as other couples can,” she said.

“Today the majority of Floridians stand with us as we take this historic step toward marriage equality in the Sunshine State. These couples have been embraced by their families and communities, but every day, Florida laws are denying them the protections and dignity that every family deserves,” said Equality Florida Institute Chief Executive Officer Nadine Smith. “These harmful laws are outdated and out of step. It is time for all families in our state to have full equality under the law.”

Attorney Cristina Alonso expressed that more and more courts across the country are “recognizing that this is an issue of basic dignity and fundamental fairness,” reiterating the hope that the state of Florida pass same-sex marriage soon.

Attorney Elizabeth F. Schwartz said, “As someone who has spent nearly two decades helping same-sex couples and their families achieve some measure of legal protection under Florida law, which gives us very few tools, I know too well just how difficult the process can be and how much vulnerability these couples face. The protections we are able to cobble together without marriage pale in comparison to the comprehensive security provided by marriage recognized not just by the federal government but by the State of Florida.”

The lawsuit was filed in Florida’s state court in Miami on Tuesday, January 21. In 2008, voters in Florida voted in favor of a ban on same-sex marriage to be a part of the state’s constitution; however, the attorneys of the current lawsuit believe that the public opinion has changed and more and more judges are seeing that the ban is unconstitutional.

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