Justices Won’t Intervene in Fla. Gay Marriage Rift

     (CN) – The Supreme Court declined Friday night to block same-sex marriages in Florida, clearing the way for the issues of licenses across the state on Jan. 6.
     As is their custom, the justices did not explain why they rejected Attorney General Pam Bondi’s request that they intervene in the Florida case. Justice Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas said they would have granted the motion, but they too failed to explain their thinking.
     In rejecting Florida’s request, the high court continued a pattern in which they’ve declined to intervene in lower court cases where the bans have been found unconstitutional.
     In August, U.S. District Judge Robert Hinkle struck down an amendment to Florida’s state constitution banning same-sex marriage. However, he stayed his decision until Jan. 5 pending appeals.
     Bondi then asked the 11th Circuit to continue the stay beyond that date, but a three-judge panel declined.
     A federal judge previously declared Florida’s ban on gay marriage unconstitutional and mandated that licenses should be issued in the new year.
     Attorney General Pam Bondi of Florida fought to uphold the state ban. In a statement released Friday night, Bondi said, “Regardless of the ruling it has always been our goal to have uniformity throughout Florida until the final resolution of the numerous challenges to the voter-approved constitutional amendment on marriage.
     “Nonetheless, the Supreme Court has now spoken, and the stay will end on January 5,” she said.
     With the Supreme Court intervention off the table, Florida will become the 36th state, plus the District of Columbia, to recognize same-sex marriage.

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