Equality Florida has just announced that the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals has denied the state of Florida’s request to extend the stay placed on a lower court’s ruling overturning the Sunshine State’s ban on marriage equality.
This clears the way for same-sex couples to begin applying for marriage licenses late on Jan. 5 when the current stay expires.
Nadine Smith, Equality Florida CEO, said, “We are thrilled … . Every day of delay is another day of harm experienced by thousands of loving and committed same-sex couples in Florida. Now it’s time to break out the wedding bells. Florida is ready for the freedom to marry.”
U.S. District Court Judge Robert Hinkle issued his ruling declaring Florida’s same-sex marriage ban unconstitutional on Aug. 21 in two federal marriage cases that had been consolidated — Brenner v. Scott and Grimsley and Albu v. Scott. The state, represented by Gov. Rick Scott and Attorney General Pam Bondi, had asked the 11th Circuit Court to extend the stay until the appeals process is complete. Today, the 11th Circuit said no to that request.