(Miami, FL, January 5, 2015)—Today, a Florida state court ordered the Clerk of the Courts in Miami-Dade County to begin issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples today. On July 25, 2014, Judge Sarah Zabel of the Circuit Court of the Eleventh Judicial Circuit declared Florida’s ban on marriage for same-sex couples unconstitutional. That decision had been put on hold pending an appeal by the State of Florida. Today’s order by Judge Zabel lifted the temporary hold, requiring Miami-Dade County to begin issuing licenses to same-sex couples immediately.
Same-sex couples will be able to obtain marriage licenses in all Florida counties beginning tomorrow as a result of orders issued in a separate federal case challenging Florida’s marriage ban.
The plaintiff couples in the Miami case are Catherina Pareto and Karla Arguello; Dr. Juan Carlos Rodriguez and David Price; Vanessa and Melanie Alenier; Todd and Jeff Delmay; Summer Greene and Pamela Faerber; and Don Price Johnston and Jorge Isaias Diaz. They are represented by the law firm Carlton Fields Jorden Burt, attorney Elizabeth F. Schwartz, attorney Mary B. Meeks, and the National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR).
Statement by NCLR Legal Director Shannon Minter, Esq.:
“This is a pivotal moment not just for Miami but for the entire country. Florida is a bellwether state, and I can think of no more encouraging sign as the US Supreme Court prepares to decide whether to resolve this issue for the entire country at its next conference on January 9, and as the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals hears oral arguments in the Texas, Mississippi, and Louisiana marriage cases the same day. This is an incredibly important week for marriage equality, and we are so thrilled that Miami couples are leading the charge. “