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And now it's Florida \o/
July 17, 2014 11:01 AM   Subscribe

Monroe County Circuit Judge, Luis Garcia, has ruled that a provision in the Florida Constitution that outlaws same-sex marriage violates the U.S. Constitution.

As of Tuesday, couples can only marry in Monroe County. Marriages will begin on Tuesday to avoid a run on the License Bureau, according to Garcia's ruling. Monroe County includes the Florida Keys.

Garcia wrote "The court is aware that the majority of voters oppose same-sex marriage, but it is our country's proud history to protect the rights of the individual, the rights of the unpopular and the rights of the powerless, even at the cost of offending the majority," Garcia wrote in his decision. "Whether it is ... when Nazi supremacists won the right to march in Skokie, Illinois, a predominantly Jewish neighborhood; or when a black woman wanted to marry a white man in Virginia; or when black children wanted to go to an all-white school, the Constitution guarantees and protects ALL of its citizens from government interference with those rights."
posted by Sophie1 (71 comments total) 19 users marked this as a favorite

 
Good news for Florida Man. Good news for Florida Woman. Good news for everybody.
posted by Drexen at 11:05 AM on July 17 [14 favorites]


Awesome! Good luck to any marrying Monrovians. Great job, judge.
posted by marienbad at 11:08 AM on July 17


This is awesome news.

Somewhat less awesome that the Judge compared same sex marriage to Nazi supremacists being allowed to march in Skokie. Could he not have just compared it to the fall of racist anti-miscegenation laws and leave it at that?
posted by zarq at 11:08 AM on July 17 [11 favorites]


Oh good, I'm sure that I will hear nothing about this when I go to my Floridian uncle's (hetero, obvs) wedding next month. Can't wait to bust out the "and this affects the vows you literally just took 10 minutes ago and 10 years ago and 29 years ago precisely how?"
posted by phunniemee at 11:10 AM on July 17 [15 favorites]


I think that the point is that rights are for all unpopular groups, even the ones that nobody likes.
posted by aubilenon at 11:11 AM on July 17 [16 favorites]


zarq, I agree that's a striking comparison to make, I think it's also good to take the comparisons beyond race. Given that a not insignificant portion of the US population has very strong feelings that same sex marriages are Against The Will of God etc etc, I think that the parallel works if you're considering that people who you really, really might not like have the same rights as you do.
posted by filthy light thief at 11:12 AM on July 17 [3 favorites]


Oh, I got the point, aubilenon. Just... the comparison is disquieting.
posted by zarq at 11:12 AM on July 17 [1 favorite]


(Un)fortunately, I can't think of any other reviled group who would be less distasteful to compare with same sex marriage. That's the rub.
posted by filthy light thief at 11:13 AM on July 17


Man, there's going to be some FABULOUS sunset weddings in Key West. Congrats FL!
posted by Ber at 11:15 AM on July 17 [1 favorite]


I think Judge Garcia added the bit about the Nazi marches to emphasize that equal rights apply to all: not just the popular or majority opinions. And congrats to anyone in Monroe County who can now get married!

(I find it hilarious that one of my uncles, a not-quite-Tea Bagger, is so against SSM: he thinks "it breaks down the sanctity of the marriage vows". Of course, Uncle himself has been married seven times --- or maybe eight? I honestly don't know at this point --- so he knows all about marriage vows being sacred.....)
posted by easily confused at 11:15 AM on July 17 [8 favorites]


Sacred, until they don't fit, when you can toss 'em off.
posted by filthy light thief at 11:17 AM on July 17


Somewhat less awesome that the Judge compared same sex marriage to Nazi supremacists being allowed to march in Skokie. Could he not have just compared it to the fall of racist anti-miscegenation laws and leave it at that?

Consider the audience he's aiming his words at. Or, at least, a very vocal, very militant, part of the audience. He's speaking directly to them about an event they celebrate. Sort of a "You got yours, now give it up for someone else" statement
posted by Thorzdad at 11:18 AM on July 17 [1 favorite]


I think it's really Florida to make that comparison honestly. He just had to take it to that "Florida man" level of stupid.

I mean, he literally godwined it up. It's gross, but almost awe inspiring.

Fucking florida.
posted by emptythought at 11:18 AM on July 17 [6 favorites]


Another one bites the dust. How many more states do we have left?
posted by sfkiddo at 11:18 AM on July 17


[tries to figure out how to make 'Bugs Bunny sawing off florida gif' post but going backwawrds, realizes he should just congratulate Florida]

Congratulations Florida Adam and Steve.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 11:19 AM on July 17 [2 favorites]


Any word on whether the judge will issue a stay pending appeal? The judge in the recent Indiana decision did that, unfortunately.
posted by Thorzdad at 11:20 AM on July 17


Yet again, US courts make sensible decisions that US lawmakers cannot. From the outside this is a weird way of making progress. Still welcome, but odd.
posted by Thing at 11:20 AM on July 17 [1 favorite]


Also, it's awesome that, in my lifetime, same-sex marriage is moving so fast across the states that I can't even keep track anymore. I never would've envisioned this when I was a kid.
posted by sfkiddo at 11:21 AM on July 17 [5 favorites]


sfkiddo: Another one bites the dust. How many more states do we have left?

Currently on Wikipedia, excluding this decision in Florida: same sex marriage is legal in 19 states, and another 13 states with stayed rulings for same-sex marriage.
posted by filthy light thief at 11:24 AM on July 17


And this isn't over for Florida:

In response to this ruling, Attorney General Pam Bondi and ban supporters argued that the referendum vote should be respected and that Florida has sole authority to define marriage in the state. The Florida amendment defined marriage solely as a union between one man and one woman.

There are other pending lawsuits in Florida, so a state-wide reconsideration may not be too long away, but no dates are set for those other cases (that I see).
posted by filthy light thief at 11:29 AM on July 17


Florida Man, Florida Man. Florida Man loves Florida Man. They tie the knot, Florida wins. Florida Man.
posted by Metroid Baby at 11:29 AM on July 17 [44 favorites]


Congrats, Florida!
posted by rtha at 11:30 AM on July 17


The "Florida Man" meme didn't click for me until I found r/FloridaMan, the World's Worst Superhero (check the news for "Florida Man" to keep us up to date on his latest misadventures!)
posted by filthy light thief at 11:32 AM on July 17 [4 favorites]


It looks like this ruling affects only one county in Florida, so many bigoted Floridians can breathe a sigh of relief that marriage inequality still reigns throughout most of the state.
posted by MoonOrb at 11:34 AM on July 17


It looks like this ruling affects only one county in Florida

Currently, correct, but clerks in other counties are likely to pull a Boulder.
posted by Sophie1 at 11:40 AM on July 17 [1 favorite]


I think the Skokie Nazi comparison is perfectly appropriate for this ruling in this context. Remember, this judge is addressing people who think gay marriage is wrong. He is saying "I don't care HOW wrong you personally think it is, that is irrelevant to this discussion."
posted by showbiz_liz at 11:40 AM on July 17 [14 favorites]


There have been couples married in other states petitioning for same-sex marriage to be recognized in Florida; they've been at it some time now. I doubt the ban will hold much longer.

Congratulations to Madam and Eve, and Adam and Steve.
posted by cmyk at 11:41 AM on July 17


MY HOME STATE GOT SOMETHING RIGHT!

Finally.
posted by grubi at 11:57 AM on July 17 [5 favorites]


Could have maybe gone with how the Westboro Baptist folks are still allowed to protest. Would that have been better or worse than Illinois Nazis?

I hate Illinois Nazis...
posted by Naberius at 11:59 AM on July 17 [2 favorites]


Equality Florida is planning celebrations across the state for tonight.
posted by Sophie1 at 12:05 PM on July 17


(I find it hilarious that one of my uncles, a not-quite-Tea Bagger, is so against SSM: he thinks "it breaks down the sanctity of the marriage vows".

Tell him people who believe this don't have enough faith in God.
posted by sebastienbailard at 12:10 PM on July 17 [3 favorites]


Let's keep in mind that this is just one county in Florida, and it will take some time for the inevitable statewide court decision to come down.
posted by savetheclocktower at 12:20 PM on July 17 [3 favorites]


I remember thinking when I was a teen that same sex marriage was a good idea but very, very unlikely. Whenever I'd hear some religious right wacko ranting about it it would strike me as a convenient boogie man, equivalent to today's "creeping Sharia". Something to keep the rank and file fired up and sending in their checks.

Now here we are. Marriage equality is spreading like wildfire and seems pretty much inevitable everywhere. Part of me wonders -- and I don't intend to take any credit away from the people who have worked so hard for it -- if the religious right shot themselves in the foot. That by making a big deal of it they helped in keeping the issue in the public mind, leading to where we are today.

Maybe that's bullshit -- a product of hazy memories and ignorance of history -- but it's something that's occurred to me recently.

At any rate, yay! Go, Florida!
posted by brundlefly at 12:27 PM on July 17 [4 favorites]


Maybe anti-SSM folks - for example, Newt Gingrich - think there are only so many marriage licenses to go around. If the homos start eating into the marriage license supply, there won't be any left for the fine upstanding heteros to have their 3rd, 4th, 5th, weddings?
posted by Dreidl at 12:28 PM on July 17 [3 favorites]


I think it's really Florida to make that comparison honestly. He just had to take it to that "Florida man" level of stupid.

I mean, he literally godwined it up. It's gross, but almost awe inspiring.

I think it's really Florida to make that comparison honestly. He just had to take it to that "Florida man" level of stupid.

emptythought

It's almost like you and zarq are intentionally misreading what he wrote.

It was a perfect comparison. His point, which is crystal clear, is not that gays = Nazis, but that it doesn't matter what the majority thinks: the minority deserves rights. The Nazi example is a great example of another situation where the majority found what the minority wanted morally repugnant but the minority should have its righs anyway. He's speaking directly to the Floridians who find homosexual marriage wrong, telling them that that's not enough to strip away rights.

It's utterly bizarre that people are picking at this nit.
posted by Sangermaine at 12:35 PM on July 17 [16 favorites]


Since SCOTUS struck down part of DOMA as being unconstitutional, have there been any courts that have ruled in favor of the proponents of the various state bans?
posted by Flunkie at 12:39 PM on July 17


Fantasy fest, should be especially fantastic this year.
posted by oddman at 12:40 PM on July 17


I love that idea, phunniemee.
posted by brundlefly at 12:40 PM on July 17


I understand finding the gay marriage/Nazi comparison disturbing, but that's the whole point. The same comparison is being made between Nazis and integrated schooling; unless you believe that the judge thinks integrated schooling is an evil, then the comparison is "both black kids and Nazis have rights", not "both black kids and Nazis are evil and have rights". The extreme juxtaposition is there to drill the point home.
posted by Flunkie at 12:48 PM on July 17 [3 favorites]


Maybe we can get off the Nazi derail now?
posted by marienbad at 12:50 PM on July 17


Since SCOTUS struck down part of DOMA as being unconstitutional, have there been any courts that have ruled in favor of the proponents of the various state bans?

Nope.
posted by MoonOrb at 12:51 PM on July 17


It doesn't seem like a derail to me. It's discussion about an obviously weird part of the topic at hand.
posted by Flunkie at 12:58 PM on July 17 [1 favorite]


Maybe we can get off the Nazi derail now?

I don't really see... how? It's right there, in the middle of the judges statement. It isn't some random thing brought up by comments on here.

it's a really bizarre place they took it. And to be clear flunkie and others, i get what he was saying, i just think it was really tone deaf in a rush to lay down a sikk burn.

You can be disturbed by it and also get it at the same time, me and the other people who think it's really weird aren't just like, thick and not getting it. It's just another one of those analogies or comparisons that's a bit wince inducing.

I mean i'm done talking about it now, but i don't think it's a weird derail for other people to. It sticks WAY out beyond sore thumb in that statement.
posted by emptythought at 1:00 PM on July 17 [1 favorite]


I love that this judge is celebrated for his decision but the Supreme Court judges who ruled in favor of Hobby Lobby were called assholes.

At some point we need to discuss "judicial activism", democracy and law, not celebrate one person's opinion like it's a major victory for civil rights.
posted by BlerpityBloop at 1:00 PM on July 17


There is, you know, such a thing as being on the right and wrong side of history. I think comparing the two is pretty offensive.
posted by emptythought at 1:04 PM on July 17 [6 favorites]


Now there's a derail.
posted by Flunkie at 1:04 PM on July 17 [8 favorites]


I love that this judge is celebrated for his decision but the Supreme Court judges who ruled in favor of Hobby Lobby were called assholes.

I love it too. People are responding appropriately to those decisions.
posted by brundlefly at 1:05 PM on July 17 [26 favorites]


The Skokie case is always going to be relevant in the "you do it because the Constitution is a matter of principle, not because you like it" situations because of the ACLU's involvement and I think we're in this odd moment where same-sex marriage bans will fall to a legal challenge, but the people who voted for them a couple of years back would still vote for them. I don't particularly want my right to get married compared to Nazis' rights to march, but if I'm going to take a deep breath and tamp down my feelings about Nazism to say that the ACLU shouldn't be faulted for standing on principle, it feels reasonable to expect anti-marriage people to do the same--after all, I'm not a Nazi.

(It does feel weirdly tone-deaf, though. Skokie isn't/wasn't simply "a Jewish neighborhood"--it has/had an extraordinary concentration of Holocaust survivors. That was why Skokie in particular.)
posted by hoyland at 1:09 PM on July 17 [1 favorite]


There is, you know, such a thing as being on the right and wrong side of history. I think comparing the two is pretty offensive.

Well, I don't. He was comparing them to make a rhetorical point, which is that minorities have rights WHETHER YOU THINK THEY ARE GOOD OR BAD PEOPLE.

I think I have a right to say whatever I believe, and I think Sarah Palin has the same right, and I don't think that saying so constitutes an offensive comparison of me to her.
posted by showbiz_liz at 1:15 PM on July 17 [9 favorites]


!

Meanwhile, in Virginia, we're expecting a ruling on Bostic v. Rainey at the end of the month.
posted by Jacqueline at 1:16 PM on July 17


But it's not even tone-deaf. As Flunkie says, he also compared the two situations to black children getting to be integrated with whites in schools. Do people think he's saying black children are evil like Nazis? If not, can you see why holding the same idea, that any negative association was even implied with gay marriage, doesn't really make sense?

The key is in the introduction: "The court is aware that the majority of voters oppose same-sex marriage"; he's addressing people who find gay marriage to be morally repugannt, and telling them what they find morally repugnant doesn't, and shouldn't, matter when it comes to the Constitution.
posted by Sangermaine at 1:20 PM on July 17 [1 favorite]


!
posted by Going To Maine at 1:37 PM on July 17


Part of me wonders -- and I don't intend to take any credit away from the people who have worked so hard for it -- if the religious right shot themselves in the foot. That by making a big deal of it they helped in keeping the issue in the public mind, leading to where we are today.

I think that is spot-on.

If the right-wingers hadn't spent 10 years crying wolf and actively banning gay marriage (only to see their discriminatory bans struck down one after another), we would probably have "domestic partnership" laws in more than half the states, with the nation as a whole on the slow-track to separately-named-but-equally-entitled institutions of matrimony.
posted by General Tonic at 1:38 PM on July 17 [3 favorites]


And to be clear flunkie and others, i get what he was saying, i just think it was really tone deaf in a rush to lay down a sikk burn.

I know you just spent a lot of characters saying over and over again that you get it, but if you're seriously getting "tone deaf in a rush to lay down a sikk burn" out of this then you extremely do not get it.
posted by IAmUnaware at 1:52 PM on July 17 [1 favorite]


But it's not even tone-deaf. As Flunkie says, he also compared the two situations to black children getting to be integrated with whites in schools.

All I can tell you is that I know why he made the comparison (see everything in my comment before the words 'tone-deaf'), think it's a fair thing to bring up (again, see everything else) and still thought it landed weirdly. (It totally has to do with the ambiguity of the situation--there's obviously a right answer constitutionally and morally when it comes to integration, whereas everything about the Skokie situation is much more ambiguous--where's the limit on the first amendment? as a civil libertarian, how far does your obligation to the first amendment extend?)
posted by hoyland at 1:56 PM on July 17 [1 favorite]


I think that in the real world, just like on the Internet, it's a bad idea to compare anything at all to anything having to do with Nazis. Regardless of whether your argument has merit, it's not gonna go the way you want it to.

Nazis ruin everything.
posted by tzikeh at 2:01 PM on July 17 [4 favorites]






There seems to be an idea in politics that comparing any two things, let alone making an analogy between them, in some way implies, or at least suggests, that the two things are to be equated.

You see it trotted out almost any time anybody on any side of any issue makes an analogy between anything and anything negative. Even if the analogy is completely apt. Even if the actual properties on which the analogy is based are completely innocuous. Even if the point of the comparison is almost the opposite of what the person shouting "how dare you compare X to Y!" takes it to be. And especially if the idea is to make a point to a person who doesn't think exactly like the complainer.

As far as I can tell, it's based on lazy thinking that simply pattern matches without any actual analysis. Whatever the reason for it, it poisons discourse, it should be given no respect or consideration whatsoever, and anybody who uses it should be awarded no points. Negative points, actually, for reducing the potential level of rationality in the discussion.
posted by Hizonner at 2:54 PM on July 17 [13 favorites]


Well, I don't. He was comparing them to make a rhetorical point, which is that minorities have rights WHETHER YOU THINK THEY ARE GOOD OR BAD PEOPLE.

Yo to be clear I was talking about comparing this to hobby lobby. You seemed to still be replying about the nazi thing, but if not carry on.
posted by emptythought at 3:44 PM on July 17


I guess I should have just said what tzikeh said in the first place then. That's pretty much what I was thinking, but I guess I didn't articulate it that well. Because my main point is that by bringing up nazis as an example, you're upping the stakes to zomg super sudden death 11.

The point isn't that nazis are an example of people you don't like and defending their right to say stuff that you disagree with which can be true, it's that they're Nazis. And when you take the conversation there, you're usually destroying any possibility of reasonable conversation.

That's why it's an unfortunate choice. It's not just extreme, it's derailing it into wackoville that people will ignore because the rhetoric has now been cranked to Fox News 11 without any real possibility of de-escalation. It almost seems malicious when you look at it that way, like you're sabotaging the discourse. Whether it was intentional or not, it's now been taken there.

I'm going to follow the general rule of making your point 3 times and laying it down though, because I've obviously tried and failed.
posted by emptythought at 3:52 PM on July 17




\o/

I love that this judge is celebrated for his decision but the Supreme Court judges who ruled in favor of Hobby Lobby were called assholes.

At some point we need to discuss "judicial activism", democracy and law, not celebrate one person's opinion like it's a major victory for civil rights.


Well, yes. You see, this judge said "No, sorry, your private and personal religious beliefs do not allow you to deny legal freedoms to a minority of people." The SCOTUS judges who ruled in the majority in Hobby Lobby did more or less exactly the opposite.

Need I remind you that more than one of the recent SSM decisions have come from Republican judges appointed by Republican Presidents? Nevada is the first one that springs to mind; there were others as far as I can recall.

This sort of thing is exactly why courts exist: to ensure that the rights of people (in this case, to equality before the law) as enumerated in the Constitution are not denied or abridged by the regressive beliefs of anyone else. Courts are the last line of defence against bad--in this case, bigoted--legislation.

Every victory for civil rights is a major victory. We've had legalized marriage for everyone up here in Socialist Canada for just slightly more than a decade now. I look forward with eager anticipation to the same happening in the USA, across the entire country. Until then, I and my QUILTBAG siblings will celebrate every judicial decision that affirms we are, much to the shock and horror of a bunch of regressive idiots, people too, and as such we deserve full equality under the law. Period.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 9:19 PM on July 17 [4 favorites]


Glad I'm not the only person who imagined a reverse-sawing-off-Florida gif.
posted by bleep at 12:30 AM on July 18


It's OK for a gay to marry another gay in OK! (Awkwardly riffing on zombieflanders comment in MeTa, because it's not about being gay in OK, but about same sex marriage ... you get the idea).
posted by filthy light thief at 12:29 PM on July 18 [1 favorite]


Gay marriage OK in OK.
posted by zarq at 12:46 PM on July 18


Some day after notes - Aqua threw an impromptu celebration for Aaron and Lee and their attorneys after the judgment was handed down last night. About 400 of their nearest and dearest showed up at six, along with the media of Miami's five major TV stations. It was truly pretty moving and emotionally charged, and it unfolded majestically on the breakfast news this morning. It's hard for anyone to hate on these two beautiful (inside and out) men.

I forget sometimes that I live in a magical place and it was an epic reminder not to take it for granted. Yay for us, and yay for Florida for a change.
posted by halfbuckaroo at 2:31 PM on July 18 [3 favorites]


WASHINGTON — President Obama plans to sign an executive order on Monday that protects gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender employees from discrimination by companies that do federal government work, fulfilling a promise to a crucial Democratic constituency, White House officials said on Friday. But the directive will not exempt religious groups, as many of them had sought.

(emph mine, obv.)
posted by rtha at 7:17 PM on July 18


Speaking, as brundlefly did yesterday, of the religious right shooting themselves in the foot, the new non-exemption seems to have done it again. Maybe I'm naive or misreading the situation, but it seems like Obama's signing the executive order WITH an exemption would have been an easy slam dunk for them a year ago, even 6 months ago maybe.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 8:56 PM on July 18






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