The settlements came after U.S. District Judge Robert Hinkle ruled in April that the lawyers in the consolidated cases were entitled to the fees, and nearly two years after Hinkle first ruled that Florida’s voter-approved same-sex marriage ban was unconstitutional.
While same-sex couples have long been able to adopt from private, gay-friendly adoption agencies, adopting children from the foster care system has proved more difficult in some states, among them Florida.
It was a quiet but significantly historic day at the Flagler County Courthouse as Florida’s ban on marriage equality ended across the state Tuesday and couples celebrated the issuance of same-sex marriage licenses ahead of marriage ceremonies after the three-day waiting period.
With same-sex marriages ready to start Tuesday across the state, a circuit judge allowed gay couples to go ahead and begin getting married Monday in Miami-Dade County.
The reversal from the association’s lawyers should remove the last roadblock to gay marriage starting in Florida, though some clerks say they’ll refuse to perform ceremonies.
U.S. District Judge Robert Hinkle warned that clerks of court who refuse to comply with the ruling expose themselves to be a party to the suit, allowing successful plaintiffs to recover costs and attorneys’ fees.
Flagler County Clerk of Court Gail Wadsworth, whose office will be responsible for issuing same-sex marriage licenses starting Jan. 6, assuming legalities are worked out, speaks of her support for the sweeping change and hopes that it does not apply in one part of Florida but not others.
It’s no longer a maybe, an if or a pending: clerks of court in Florida must begin issuing gay-marriage licenses on Jan. 6 as the U.S. Supreme Court Friday evening denied Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi’s request that a stay on the matter be extended.
A federal appeals court Wednesday rejected Attorney General Pam Bondi’s request to at least temporarily extend Florida’s ban on gay marriage — possibly setting the stage for same-sex marriages to start in January.
The Flagler County School Board’s bereavement leave for same-sex couples formally acknowledges such unions, but only for support personnel, while teachers and employees of other government agencies still have no such rights.