Judge to hear Florida marriage equality case July 2

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A lawsuit seeking the freedom to marry in Florida will be heard on July 2 in Miami.

Judge Sarah Zabel in the Eleventh Judicial Circuit Court will hear the case involving Equality Florida Institute and six same-sex couples. The state bars same-sex couples from marrying and refuses to recognize gay marriages from other states.

More than 70 lawsuits are pending in state and federal courts in more than 30 states and U.S. territories. Since the U.S. Supreme Court ruling overturning the ban on same-sex marriage for federal purposes, there have been 19 consecutive victories for marriage equality. The most recent wins were in Oregon and Pennsylvania just this week.

Equality Florida Institute CEO Nadine Smith said, "Throughout the nation, courts have ruled that these harmful laws are outdated and out of step, and we believe that equality and justice will prevail in Florida, as well."

The couples involved in the lawsuit 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.

The lawsuit was brought by the law firm Carlton Fields Jorden Burt, Elizabeth F. Schwartz, Mary B. Meeks and the National Center for Lesbian Rights.