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4th Judge in 3 Weeks Strikes Down Florida’s Gay-Marriage Ban

| August 6, 2014

Judge Diana Lewis

Judge Diana Lewis

A Palm Beach County circuit judge ruled Tuesday that Florida’s same-sex marriage ban was unconstitutional in a probate case involving a gay couple who married in Delaware.

The decision by Palm Beach County Circuit Judge Diana Lewis was the fourth recent ruling finding that the ban on same-sex marriages is unconstitutional, though the circumstances differed from the earlier cases. Lewis’ decision stemmed from the March death in Pennsylvania of Frank C. Bangor, who owned property in Palm Beach County.

Bangor was married to W. Jason Simpson last year, and Simpson sought to qualify in Florida as personal representative of the estate. He sought to qualify as a surviving spouse. But a constitutional amendment passed by Florida voters in 2008 defined marriage as being between “only one man and one woman” and said Florida would not recognize other marriages.

Lewis sided with Simpson and found the ban unconstitutional as it applied to the case. “There is no justification in denying Mr. Simpson the privilege of acting as the fiduciary, based solely on the gender and sexual orientation of his now-deceased spouse,” Lewis wrote. “‘The Marriage Laws’ unnecessarily discriminate against this ‘spouse,’ who is recognized by other states as a ‘spouse,’ to act as a fiduciary. Clearly, it was Mr. Bangor’s intent that Mr. Simpson serve as his personal representative and inherit all of his property.”

Lewis’ decision followed other recent rulings in Monroe, Miami-Dade and Broward counties that found the same-sex marriage ban unconstitutional. The earlier cases have been stayed pending appeals.

Judge Diana Lewis Decision on Same-Sex Marriage, Palm Beach County (2014)

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14 Responses for “4th Judge in 3 Weeks Strikes Down Florida’s Gay-Marriage Ban”

  1. Wag the Tail says:

    When can I marry my long time friend, Daisey ? Yes, she’s a DOG but I love her just the same. If males can marry other males, and females can marry other females..I should by right of my American Constitutional Freedom be able to marry my friend..Yes, she’s a DOG !!!

  2. Jus Tice says:

    It is a shame that this crooked judge has to politicize this ruling to try to get re-elected. What does this case have to do with the constitution anyway? I bet she is the one that set it for hearing 3 weeks before the election.

    Do your homework people! This “judge” diana lewis is in the pocket of special interests, banks, and insurance companies. This is just a ploy to seem like she cares about the people of Palm Beach County.

    • Diana L. says:

      Seriously??????? What does this have to do with the Constitution? OMG, you can’t be serious, can you?

      • Jus Tice says:

        I am serious. Florida law provides that if the marriage was legal in another state that it is upheld here. There is no evidence that he was discriminated by Florida or its courts. This case should have been just passed through this “circus” of a court and Mr. Bangor should have received the proper rights to the estate.

        Unfortunately this “judge” feels the need to thrust this grieving man into the spotlight for her own political gain.

        I do not disagree that Gay marriage should be legal across all of America, and I also think that the Florida Amendment should be struck down as being unconstitutional. This article just proves that this judge had no merit or reason to do so, other than her own crooked political means.

  3. Informed says:

    It proves he’s into dogs, Diana!

  4. TOPOMATO says:

    Pretty soon humans will be able to marry a watermelon or a squash. Its called a “VEGGIE MARRIAGE”

  5. Observant says:

    I don’t get why this is such a HUGE issue….let them marry whoever they want and be able to incur the same legal obligations as heterosexuals including the cost of divorce—they aren’t hurting you or I and religion is of one’s preference. Nobody but the big man upstairs should be judging

  6. Let's see now says:

    Observant… Thank you! who cares who marries who. It does not affect my my life or yours except…. Perhaps, if one person has access to medical benefits and the other does not… Hey lookie there! One more person NOT using Medicaid or leaving unpaid medical bills for tax payers to deal with should they get sick! How ’bout them apples! Oh here’s another, our court systems can move onto bigger and better things to waste our tax dollars on, like red light camera tickets :-)

  7. Observant says:

    All I’m getting at is that there are bigger fish to fry–

  8. Rick says:

    So it has changed. No more Adam & Eve as now it’s Steve & Eve? Interesting. What ever might be next?

  9. Palm Coast Resident says:

    Government get out of our bedrooms and if you have a religious preference, keep it to yourself.

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