On June 3, Circuit Court Judge Sarah Zabel ruled against three anti-gay groups who wanted to intervene as parties in Pareto v. Ruvin, the lawsuit challenging Florida’s discriminatory marriage laws in the circuit court for Miami-Dade.
The groups trying to intervene include Florida Family Action, Inc. (FFAI), Florida Democratic League Inc. (FDL) and People United to Lead the Struggle for Equality, Inc. (PULSE)—all of which are opposed to same-sex marriage.
Judge Zabel turned down the groups’ request because they “will not be directly and immediately affected if others enter into a same-sex marriage, or are prevented from entering into a same-sex marriage.”
The court also noted that if these groups were to enter the case based on their beliefs, “so would anyone who has a strongly held belief regarding the constitutionality of the Amendment and statutes at issue in this suit.”
“Today Judge Zabel reached the proper conclusion in denying the extremists seeking a platform for their anti-gay rhetoric the right to intervene in this case,” said Nadine Smith, CEO of Equality Florida Institute, one of the plaintiffs in the lawsuit. “This lawsuit is about fundamental, constitutionally protected rights that are violated by a measure that does real harm to our families.”
On July 2, Pareto v Ruvin, a lawsuit filed in January on behalf of six same-sex couples and Equality Florida Institute,will be addressed in court.
The lawsuit argues that Florida’s laws barring same-sex couples from marriage violate the United States Constitution by denying them the legal protections and equal dignity that having the freedom to marry provides.