(San Francisco, CA, January 20, 2015)—National Center for Lesbian Rights’ (NCLR) Florida marriage case plaintiffs Jeff and Todd Delmay will join Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz at President Obama’s State of the Union Address in Washington, D.C. tonight.
NCLR represents Jeff and Todd, along with five other couples and Equality Florida Institute, in the historic challenge to Florida’s law banning marriage equality, which Dade County Circuit Court Judge Judge Sarah Zabel ruled unconstitutional last summer. Jeff and Todd were the second couple in Florida to marry on January 5th when Judge Zabel lifted a stay on her order, allowing same-sex couples to begin marrying immediately.
“When we got married, little did we know that we’d be spending our honeymoon with our beloved congresswoman, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, at the State of the Union,” said Todd, who has a 4-year-old son with Jeff. “We are over the moon with excitement!”
Florida is one in a string of marriage equality victories NCLR has won, including cases in Idaho, New Mexico, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, and Wyoming. In a historic move last week, the United States Supreme Court announced it will review NCLR’s Tennessee marriage case.
By deciding to hear the Tennessee case, as well as cases in Kentucky, Michigan, and Ohio, the Court has an opportunity to bring an end to the serious harms that destabilize the lives of same-sex couples in the small minority of states that continue to deny them the freedom to marry. The Court is expected to hear arguments this spring and issue a decision by the end of June 2015.
Added NCLR Executive Director Kate Kendell: “The true heroes in the march to win the freedom to marry have been the couples, who sacrificed their privacy and risked ridicule in standing up to demand that we live up to our ideals of equality and justice for all. It is fitting that our clients—and truly all same-sex couples—will be acknowledged and honored with this invitation of a lifetime. We all share in this thrilling moment. Once again, history is made.”
In addition to NCLR, the plaintiff couples in the Florida case are represented by the law firm Carlton Fields Jorden Burt, attorney Elizabeth F. Schwartz, and attorney Mary B. Meeks.