Florida court to hear marriage equality case July 2

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Oral arguments take place July 2 in Florida's marriage equality case.

A Florida trial court in Miami on July 2 will hear oral arguments on a motion filed by six same-sex couples and Equality Florida Institute challenging Florida laws barring same-sex couples from marriage. The couples will ask the court to strike down the state’s marriage ban and order the state to allow same-sex couples to marry.

The plaintiffs argue that Florida’s ban on marriage equality cannot stand in light of the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in June 2013 that the federal “Defense of Marriage Act” violates the federal constitutional guarantees of equal protection and due process.

The plaintiffs’ motion notes that every court to consider these federal constitutional claims since last summer’s Supreme Court decision has ruled in favor of the freedom to marry for same-sex couples, including federal courts in Utah, Ohio, Oklahoma, Kentucky, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia and Wisconsin.

The plaintiffs include Equality Florida Institute; 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, Elizabeth F. Schwartz, Mary B. Meeks and the National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR).  Sylvia Walbolt of Carlton Fields Jorden Burt will argue on plaintiffs’ behalf.

Oral argument will be heard at 4 p.m. EST before Judge Sarah Zabel in the Eleventh Judicial Circuit Court in Miami.