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Pam Bondi: Gay marriage would cause harm

From the Associated Press with additions:

The attorney general of Florida says in court documents that recognizing same sex marriages performed in other states would disrupt existing marriage laws and "impose significant public harm."

Eight gay couples and the American Civil Liberties Union sued the state in federal court in March. The lawsuit argues Florida is discriminating against the couples by not recognizing same-sex marriages performed in states where they are legal.

Attorney General Pam Bondi, a Republican who was named in the lawsuit along with fellow GOP Gov. Rick Scott and other state officials, earlier this month filed a lengthy response that asks a federal judge to throw out the lawsuit for several reasons, saying a federal court shouldn't rule on a state's marriage laws.

Bondi's office also argues that the state has a legitimate interest in defining marriage as between a man and woman. Florida first banned same-sex marriages nearly two decades ago and voters reinforced that ban when they passed a constitutional amendment in 2008.

"Florida's marriage laws, then, have a close, direct, and rational relationship to society's legitimate interest in increasing the likelihood that children will be born to and raised by the mothers and fathers who produced them in stable and enduring family units," Bondi's office said in court documents.

The state's legal position also notes that there would be significant financial and logistical problems for the state's pension and health insurance programs if same-sex marriages were recognized.

The lead attorney for the ACLU of Florida disagreed.

"Florida's discriminatory laws cause serious harm to real families across the state," attorney Daniel Tilley said in a statement. "Despite the state's assertion that the harms to same-sex married couples aren't significant enough to warrant relief, the families living every day being treated like legal strangers by their home state know better."

Equality Florida, an advocacy group for Florida's gay, lesbian, transgender and bi-sexual community, called Bondi's letter "deplorable."

"The only Florida families suffering harm are the LGBT families who continue to be discriminated against. Pam Bondi is on the wrong side of history and on the wrong side of Florida public opinion," wrote Nadine Smith, head of the organization. 

 

Scott earlier this year said he supports Florida's constitutional amendment defining marriage as between a man and a woman, but added that he "does not believe that anyone should be discriminated against for any reason."

The lawsuit in Florida is part of a groundswell of challenges in the gay marriage debate.

Several federal judges have ruled in support of same-sex marriage since the U.S. Supreme Court last year struck down part of the federal anti-gay marriage law. More here. 

Comments

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Can't take anymore

Pam must not see the irony in her opposition to LGBT marriage while she remains unmarried and usually shacked up with her elderly boyfriend. BTW, where are her children? Oh, that's right; she never had any.

Hmmmm...

Bondi and Scott have no choice but to uphold the Constitution of the state of Florida. It was the Oath of Office they took when sworn into their respective offices...

Tim

Okay, "Hmmmm"...the next time someone tramples on your civil rights, we'll just sit back and let the public officials do their sworn duty and uphold the Constitution of Florida. Oh wait -- you're probably part of that class that already has all the civil rights you need, aren't you?

Seth Platt

Pam is incompetent and continues to waste millions of taxpayer dollars on frivolous, politically unpopular, and unconstitutional, legal positions.

Joe

Pam Bondi has been married twice and is now engaged to be married for a third time.

And it's gays who are destroying marriage?

Bill

I wonder what a woman like Pam, who, twice already, has legally torn apart her family so that she can go and start a completely new one with a completely new heterosexual, think she has to say about morality and family????????

Give us a break!

MarvinM

I'm very curious, how does Florida recognizing same sex marriages performed in other states "impose significant public harm."?

And Seth is very, very right. Wasteful lawsuits include trying to have the ACA declared unconstitutional (Bill McCollum started it, and Bondi vowed to and did continue it), the clearly Anti-4th Amendment drug testing laws (which Scott put up for yet another appeal) and the latest Lawsuit to Nowhere to be able to inspect VA hospitals.

Oh, and this one’s a corker: The state of Florida forking out close to half a million dollars to defend a newly-created law requiring state employees to contribute 3% pay to their own pension (that in itself not the most unusual thing) but the law firm defending the case who got that half mil has got a guy on it who has connections to Rick (Richard) Scott’s ... er, I mean Ann (Annette) Scott’s Solantic company.

http://politics.heraldtribune.com/2011/11/15/law-firm-handling-state-pension-suit-includes-onetime-scott-business-associate/

Pam Bondi’s next ad campaign may as well be “If you like your AG wasting millions of your dollars which are then directed to persons connected to the governor and his fiscal well-being, vote for me”.

Edgar

Is it possible that Pam is purposefully presenting a preposterous argument since she knows there is no legitimate reasons to fight this?

ed jenkins

This Bondi continues to show why she is the citizens favorite politician as she takes a common sense approach and upholds highly popular laws and amendments passed overwhelmingly by the citizens. The citizens are tired of all of these lawsuits filed by sore losers in various issues wasting resources that have been confiscated by taxpayers for their own selfish reasons. These people should be ashamed to bring up such an offensive issue in our courts and judges should throw this absurd concept out immediately before children hear of these perverse ideas and get the wrong idea.

Seth Platt

Shut up ed you are a fraud

MarvinM

Ed should be apoplectic that Bondi further wasted money taking suits to higher courts that she should have known could not win on constitutional grounds.

Bondi is the "citizen[']s favorite politician"? Not by a long shot. (But then, who is?)

tonykeywest

The government has responsibility to protect the
health, safety and welfare of the people. Of all the
harms that a society can face, none are worse than
incurring the wrath of God by a blatant policy of
defiance of and disobedience to His plain standard.
This nation was founded on Bible principles, and the
laws of America arose from Scriptural precepts.
America has erred in making fornication, adultery,
divorce, remarriage, abortion-for-convenience-on-demand
and sodomy, standard fare in this country. It is time
to reverse that course, and for this Court to squarely
hold that the governments of America have a compelling
interest in upholding traditional opposite-sex
marriage, and further in protecting the people from
the devastating effects of same-sex marriage. Separation
of church and state, while prohibiting government
from interfering in issues of doctrine or church
governance, does not prohibit the government from
promulgating laws that institute the standards of
God on moral issues. Just as the government is empowered
to outlaw murder, the government is empowered
to outlaw same-sex marriage. This nation
that God blessed and built into a super power is going to perish if this Court and the governments of this land bless same-sex marriage through government
license.

tonykeywest

Hollingsworth amicus Westboro Baptist Church.

JR Costello

tonykeywest - yea...cause Marriage between consenting adults is like murder?????? Get over yourself - Marriage equality IS coming..so you better BUY your fainting couch now....

ed jenkins

The citizens are tired of seeing uncertainty cast on their long established and recently confirmed morality by a handful of unelected individuals and soon enough those most horrible individuals will be removed. The important thing to note is that all laws remain on the books and the constitution has not changed since enacted (other than a few minor amendments which don't affect these matters) so when moral people assume these positions the laws can resume being enforced as they have before. The citizens anxiously await the day when our political leaders will enforce these laws again and among other things our unnatural acts and sodomy laws (which have been in place since before the constitution) to help eliminate this immoral activity and once again make society safe for children and families.

Can't take anymore

Ed, you have me convinced you are the result of an unnatural act.

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