Palm Beach County Judge 4th to Rule Gay Marriage Ban Unconstitutional

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From our media partner Sun Sentinel: Another day, another in the long line of rulings shattering Florida's same-sex marriage ban. But the decision in Palm Beach County Tuesday represented a smaller crack in that ban than previous ones.

Frank Bangor and Jason Simpson were married in Delaware in 2013. Bangor died in March and left everything to his spouse, including property in Palm Beach County.

Simpson argued that Florida's same-sex marriage ban is unconstitutional, and he should be allowed to serve as his deceased spouse's personal representative in Florida.

A personal representative, empowered to carry out someone's will, is defined in Florida law as a spouse or blood relative.

Circuit Court Judge Diana Lewis found Simpson could indeed carry out the will, but that "the Court's holding is strictly limited to the facts before it, and the narrow issue" of Simpson's request.

The judge, therefore, did not find the same-sex marriage ban unconstitutional on its face, but rather only as it applied to Simpson's case.

A different Palm Beach County case, Dousset v. Florida Atlantic University, is already before the court of appeals.

Gildas Dousset married Florida native Paul Rubio in Massachusetts and is now suing the university to be granted in-state tuition as a spouse of a resident.

It landed in the appeals court after FAU turned them down. The state must respond by Aug. 20.

If Dousset wins his case and forces the state to recognize his same-sex marriage, the ruling would affect the entire state of Florida.

Three other same-sex marriage cases have resulted in the ban being ruled unconstitutional in Monroe, Miami-Dade and Broward counties. All are likely to be appealed. A ruling in another case in Tallahassee is expected any day as well.

From our media partner Sun Sentinel


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Greg Kabel
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