The Attorney General of Florida has filed papers in federal court claiming that recognizing out-of-state legal civil same-sex marriages would “impose significant public harm” and play havoc with existing marriage laws in the Sunshine State.
Tea Party Republican Pam Bondi made the statements in court documents in a case filed by the ACLU on behalf of eight couples in March.
Bondi, who has been married three times, is an up-and-coming player in Florida politics and has a small national profile thanks to appearances on Fox News.
The AP reports that Bondi, “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.
But Bondi doesn’t address the fact that those same same-sex couples who are legally married ion other states are subsidizing the marriages of their heterosexual peers and contributing to support them and the state’s pension and health insurance programs already, amounting to unfair taxation.
“Court after court across the country has found that there is no legal basis to deny all Americans the dignity of marriage to the person he or she loves, yet Florida’s attorney general continues to hold on to unfounded arguments to legitimize a law that serves no purpose but to discriminate,” Equality Florida said in a statement. “Judges appointed by Republicans and Democrats alike have 19 times in a row come to the inescapable conclusion that such bans are wrong and constitutionally indefensible.”
To quote U.S. District Judge Arenda L. Wright Allen, who ruled against Virginia’s ban on same-sex marriage, “We have arrived upon another moment in history when ‘We the People’ becomes more inclusive, and our freedom more perfect.”
Image: Bondi in 2012 in New Hampshire at a Women for Mitt Romney campaign. Photo via Facebook.
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