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Florida Attorney General: Same-sex marriage will "impose significant public harm"

Civil rights groups condemn her comments as "deplorable."

By Matt Bradwell
Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi at the 2012 Republican National Convention. UPI/Kevin Dietsch | <a href="/News_Photos/lp/128336919732013be1a2cf02471576ba/" target="_blank">License Photo</a>
Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi at the 2012 Republican National Convention. UPI/Kevin Dietsch | License Photo

TALLAHASSEE, Fla., May 30 (UPI) -- Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi has asked a judge to throw out a lawsuit by the American Civil Liberties Union and eight same-sex couples challenging the state's ban on same-sex marriage and refusal to recognize out-of-state unions.

In April, the state ACLU filed a motion demanding that Florida recognize same-sex marriages performed in other states, saying a 2008 amendment that bans the state doing so is unconstitutional, claiming it "violates the Due Process Clause and the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution."

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In response to the lawsuit, Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi filed papers asking that it be tossed out as she feels same-sex marriage would "impose significant public harm" and "create significant problems for the state's pension and health insurance programs."

Bondi's request has drawn the ire of civil rights activists in Florida, who have quickly come out against her statements.

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"This response is deplorable," said Nadine Smith of Equality Florida. "The only Florida families suffering harm are the LGBT families who continue to be discriminated against."

"Pam Bondi is on the wrong side of history and on the wrong side of Florida public opinion, which shows 57% of Floridians now favor marriage equality. Judges appointed by Republicans and Democrats alike have 19 times in a row come to the inescapable conclusion that such bans are wrong and constitutionally indefensible. Attorneys General in states across the country have upheld their duty to the U.S. constitution by refusing to defend a law that so clearly violates basic rights."

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