TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — Here's a look at the impact in Florida after the U.S. Supreme Court turned away appeals from five states seeking to prohibit gay and lesbian unions:
WHAT HAPPENS IN FLORIDA?
That's not clear yet. Florida's existing ban on same-sex marriages is not directly affected by the U.S. Supreme Court's move — the high court wasn't dealing with any cases from Florida. This year, several Florida circuit judges as well as U.S. District Judge Robert L. Hinkle have struck down the gay-marriage ban that was adopted by the state's voters in 2008.
But same-sex marriages have not been allowed to proceed because the judges in those cases have agreed to stay their ruling pending appeals. Hinkle's ruling states that any stay would remain in place 90 days after a decision was made in the cases that were under consideration by the U.S. Supreme Court.
Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi's office said she was "reviewing the impact" of Monday's decision.
ACLU OF FLORIDA WANTS STAY LIFTED
The American Civil Liberties Union of Florida said Monday that it will file a request asking that Hinkle lift his stay in the federal lawsuit. That lawsuit consolidates two cases involving 22 people, including several couples married in other states who asked for Florida to recognize their marriages. The lawsuit was filed against state officials, including Gov. Rick Scott. Florida has appealed the ruling to a federal appeals court in Atlanta.
GROUPS CALL ON FLORIDA ATTORNEY GENERAL TO DROP APPEALS
Republican Pam Bondi has defended the state in the ongoing lawsuits. She has previously said that one of the reasons she has appealed the cases is that she wanted the U.S. Supreme Court to make a decision that would apply uniformly to all states. Groups such as Equality Florida and George Sheldon, Bondi's Democratic opponent in the November election, called on her to drop her appeals in the wake of the Supreme Court action.
"She has got to decide if she is going to fight the tide of history," said Howard Simon, executive director of the ACLU of Florida.