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SCOTUS Denies Florida Request For Extension Of Same-Sex Marriage Ruling Stay

Florida’s Republican Attorney General Pam Bondi has spent months fighting rulings in favor of overturning her state’s ban on same-sex marriage.

In fact, she recently asked the US Supreme Court to extend the current stay on one of those rulings as the case awaits it’s turn at the 11th Circuit Court.

Color me shocked, but that request was just denied.

Although Justice Clarence Thomas (who oversees such requests for the 11th Circuit) referred the matter to the full court – which decided against extending the stay – both he and Justice Scalia noted that they would have granted the extension.

Here’s the background on the case via Chris Johnson at the Washington Blade:

In August, U.S. District Court Judge Robert Hinkle ruled against the state’s ban on same-sex marriage, known as Amendment 2, but placed a stay on his order until 91 days passed after the appeals process was completed in the Utah, Oklahoma and Virginia marriage cases. When the U.S. Supreme Court refused to review these cases, it set for date for same-sex couples to be able to marry in Florida starting Jan. 5.

Bondi tried to extend the stay on the same-sex marriages as she continued to defend the law in court, but her requests were by denied by the district court as well as the U.S. Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals, which ordered the stay to be lifted “at the end of the day” on Jan. 5.

Nadine Smith, CEO of Equality Florida, issued this statement: “We are thrilled the U.S. Supreme Court has denied the State’s request to delay marriages in Florida. Every day of delay is another day of harm experienced by thousands of loving and committed same-sex couples in Florida. It’s time to break out the wedding bells! We look forward to January 6th being a special day — Florida is ready for the freedom to marry.”

I reported yesterday that Osceola County Clerk of the Courts Armando Ramirez has stated that if the stay was lifted, his courthouse would open at 12:01 a.m. on Jan. 6 to issue marriage licenses and possibly perform services.

I mentioned I’m shocked as this is the first time that SCOTUS has denied such a request before a federal appeals court had ruled on the issue. That said, I think it’s a clear indication of the thinking of the high court in terms of marriage equality 🙂

Happy Dance Time!