Marriage equality updates: While we wait on Colorado …..

U.S. District Judge Raymond P. Moore, who heard arguments yesterday in a suit seeking to overturn Colorado’s ban on same-sex marriage, has indicated he is likely to rule in favor of the gay couples who say the ban is unconstitutional. The real question is whether Judge Moore will put his ruling on hold until the inevitable appeals are heard and decided, according to this report by The Washington Post.

Colorado Attorney General  John Suthers isn’t opposing the plaintiffs’ request for an injunction overturning the marriage ban, but he does want Judge Moore to stay his ruling. On the flip side, though, plaintiffs’ attorney Mari Newman argued against the stay, reminding the judge that “justice delayed is justice denied.”

Judge Moore is expected to announce his ruling and his decision on whether or not to issue the stay sometime today. But while we are waiting to hear from Colorado, here are a few more marriage-related tidbits to ponder. (And yes, David Taffet usually does the marriage news roundup here on Instant Tea, but he’s on vacation this week.)

 

Rubio still opposes marriage equality

Official Portrait

Sen. Marco Rubio

File this one under the “Color Us NOT Surprised” heading: Sen. Marco Rubio, a Florida Republican, is expected to reiterate his opposition to marriage equality in a speech at a Catholic university later today. OK, so he’s not gonna actually say he opposes same-sex marriage. What he’s going to say is that he believes states’ should be allowed to define marriage as they see fit, whether he agrees with them or not, and without interference from the federal courts.

Rubio, a possible Republican presidential candidate, has also said he is not in favor of a federal constitutional ban. By saying that he personally opposes same-sex marriage but believes states should be able to define marriage as they see fit, Rubio is likely looking for a little bit of semi-neutral middle ground in preparation for that possible run for the White House.

This report in the Tampa Bay Times gives more detail on his words and his voting record.

 

Equality Florida to deliver petitions to Bondi

The four same-sex couples challenging Florida’s ban on same-sex marriage along with representatives of Equality Florida Institute are set to deliver 7.000 petitions signed by Floridians to Attorney General Pam Bondi, urging her to “stop wasting taxpayer resources” defending the ban.

Monroe County Chief Circuit Judge Luis M. Garcia issued a ruling on July 17 declaring the ban unconstitutional, although on Monday, July 21, he issued a stay of the ruling as the case moves through the appeals process.

Equality Florida says that recent surveys show that at least 57 percent of Florida residents support marriage equality.

The petitions will be delivered Thursday morning.

On Wednesday, the Miami Herald’s Fred Grimm posted this column criticizing the twice-divorced Bondi for appealing Garcia’s ruling.

“With five divorces between the two of us, Pam Bondi and I aren’t exactly paragons of marriage stability,” Grimm writes. “Nothing in Florida law, however, would keep either one of us from denigrating that hallowed institution once again.”

—  Tammye Nash

For the record, we're backing the closeted independent over the Tea-bagger in Florida

Florida Gov. Charlie Crist
Florida Gov. Charlie Crist

Charlie Crist is the Republican governor of Florida who decided to run for U.S. Senate but, because he was considered a “moderate” — Horrors! He shook hands with Barack Obama! — in the Tea Party-crazed GOP of today, he decided instead to run as an independent.

In a poll conducted earlier this month for three Florida newspapers, likely voters put Crist at a statistically insignificant but notable lead for the seat against former Florida House Speaker Marco Rubio.

Why, you might ask, should gays in Texas should care what politicians in Florida have to do with our lives. And the answer is, Crist is pretty much certainly gay.

His homosexuality was pretty well documented in “Outrage,” director Kirby Dick’s documentary about hypocrisy in the halls of politics. “Outrage” didn’t really reveal anything new under the sun, but it did agglomerate the facts in one place for a number of politicians who take anti-gay stances while remaining in the closet (more or less) themselves.

Crist’s defection from the GOP could be pretty big news, if only because, if not tethered to right wing of American politics, Crist might feel comfortable coming out officially, which is always a good thing for our community. On the other hand, as “Outrage” pointed out, Crist doesn’t exactly have a stellar record on supporting gay rights, has fiercely fought the gay label (despite documentation) and in general just seems like a turncoat. Still, given a choice between the Tea Party-backed Republican or Crist, it’s an easy call for me.

—  Arnold Wayne Jones