Via the craptacular Tampa Tribune:
U.S. District Judge Robert L. Hinkle in Tallahassee ruled that the ban added to Florida’s constitution by voters in 2008 violates the 14th Amendment’s guarantees of equal protection and due process. Hinkle issued a stay delaying the effect of his order, meaning no marriage licenses will be immediately issued for gay couples.
“When observers look back 50 years from now, the arguments supporting Florida’s ban on same-sex marriage, though just as sincerely held, will again seem an obvious pretext for discrimination,” Hinkle wrote in a 33-page ruling. “To paraphrase a civil rights leader from the age when interracial marriage was struck down, the arc of history is long, but it bends toward justice.”
So, no in-state marriages yet since the effect is stayed, but another brick in the wall falls. Florida’s wingnut AG, Pam Bondi, is pursuing appeals to similar rulings against the ban in several counties. She’s trying to hang onto her wingnut cred by appealing the rulings on the one hand while saying that the US Supreme Court should make the final ruling, which will preserve her political viability amongst the youngs, or so she thinks. She’s got ambition, does our Pamikins.
Anyway, this is good news. There has been a sea-change on gay rights over the last several years, and the Obama administration deserves a lot of credit for that.