Florida A.G.: Let U.S. Supreme Court decide on gay marriage

Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi urged a state appeals court to save time and money by waiting for the U.S. Supreme Court to rule on same-sex marriage.
By Frances Burns  |  Aug. 8, 2014 at 3:09 PM
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla., Aug. 8 (UPI) -- The U.S. Supreme Court is the only one that can make a final decision on same-sex marriage, Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi said in a court filing.

Bondi responded Thursday to a motion by eight same-sex couples to move their cases directly to the Florida Supreme Court. Four state judges have ordered Florida to recognize same-sex marriages, although in two cases the rulings only apply to couples who married in jurisdictions where they could do so legally.

In her response, Bondi did not object to consolidating all the cases. But she said no Florida ruling will be final.

"A ruling from the United States Supreme Court would end the constitutional debate, end this appeal, and end all related cases," Bondi said.

"The State of Florida will respect the United States Supreme Court's final word. In the meantime, this Court should preserve taxpayer and judicial resources by staying briefing until the United States Supreme Court rules."

Massachusetts became the first state to recognize same-sex marriage in 2004 after the state Supreme Court found banning it violates the state constitution. Since the U.S. Supreme Court overturned the federal Defense of Marriage Act last year, a number of state and federal judges have ruled that continuing to bar gay and lesbian couples from marrying violates the U.S. Constitution.

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