11th Circuit Stays Further Action on Marriage Appeals until Supreme Court Rules

unnamed (2)Today, the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals issued a stay on any further action in the federal cases challenging bans on marriages for same-sex couples until the United States Supreme Court rules on the issue later this year. The 11th Circuit is currently hearing an appeal brought by Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi seeking to reverse a District Court ruling striking down Florida’s marriage ban, as well as two appeals from Alabama.

On August 21st, U.S. District Judge Robert Hinkle issued a ruling overturning Florida’s ban on marriage for same-sex couples as a result of two separate federal lawsuits: one brought by the ACLU of Florida on behalf of eight couples, a Ft. Myers widow, and South Florida’s largest LGBT rights organization, SAVE; the other brought by Jacksonville attorneys William Sheppard and Sam Jacobson.

On September 4th, Attorney General Pam Bondi appealed that decision to the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals. The 11th Circuit’s decision today puts a hold on any further activity in the case until the Supreme Court rules.

Responding to today’s news, ACLU of Florida LGBT Rights staff attorney Daniel Tilley stated:

“Today’s decision by the 11th Circuit to put the marriage cases on hold will have no impact on same-sex couples in Florida who, as a result of Judge Hinkle’s ruling taking effect last month, are enjoying the freedom to marry throughout the state. While we were prepared to argue before the 11th Circuit why Judge Hinkle ruling was correct, we are pleased that this victory for loving couples remains in effect.

“Now, we are looking forward to the Supreme Court hearing these cases at the end of April and the possibility of a nationwide resolution to the marriage equality issue by the end of June.”

Attorneys from the ACLU, the ACLU of Florida and Stephen F. Rosenthal of Podhurst Orseck, P.A. represent the plaintiffs in one of the federal lawsuits challenging Florida’s marriage ban. More information on the ACLU’s case, including bios of the couples, is available at: www.aclufl.org/marriageequality

The ACLU is also co-counsel in two of the four cases which the U.S. Supreme Court will be hearing.

About the ACLU of Florida The ACLU of Florida is freedom’s watchdog, working daily in the courts, legislatures and communities to defend individual rights and personal freedoms guaranteed by the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. For additional information, visit our web site at: www.aclufl.org

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