Supreme Court Clears Way For Same-Sex Marriages In Florida

Rejecting a request by Florida's attorney general to maintain a judge's stay that would have kept same-sex couples from marrying in the state, the Supreme Court cleared the way for gay marriages to be held in Florida next month.

The stay stems from a ruling by U.S. District Judge Robert L. Hinkle, who said in August that Florida's 2008 ban is unconstitutional.

As has happened with many similar cases, Judge Hinkle issued a stay on his own ruling that Florida's ban was illegal, to give the state time to appeal. That stay is set to expire on Jan. 5.

Things heated back up this week, after Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi filed a request with Justice Clarence Thomas, who oversees the 11th Circuit, asking him to maintain the stay.

The ACLU of Florida responded to Thomas' request for a plaintiffs' response yesterday, saying, "Florida cannot continue to deny fundamental rights to certain groups of people simply because it has done so in the past."

The Supreme Court issued its order Friday, in a short statement:

"The application for stay presented to Justice Thomas and by him referred to the Court is denied.
"Justice Scalia and Justice Thomas would grant the application for stay."

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