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A Look Back At All South Florida Counties Ruling Against Gay-Marriage Ban

Nancy Klingener

A Palm Beach County court's Tuesday ruling is the latest to declare Florida's ban on same-sex marriage unconstitutional.

Last month, a Monroe County judge first ruled in favor of a gay couple trying to marry in the state. Then a Miami-Dade County court declared six same-sex couples suing the state for the right to marry should be allowed to do so. And earlier this week a Broward County judge ruled in favor of a woman trying to dissolve a same-sex civil union started 14 years ago in Vermont.

The Palm Beach Post reports Circuit Judge Diana Lewis wrote: "Same-sex couples are entitled to respect, dignity and protection as any other spouse requesting to be a personal representative."

Her ruling came in favor of a widower trying to gain control of the Boynton Beach winter home he shared with his deceased husband.

Still, the rulings don't grant same-sex couples the right to marry in Florida. The State Attorney's office has so far issued appeals for three of the rulings.

Timeline: South Florida's Right To Marry In 2014
*star indicates ruling

  • January 21, Miami-Dade County: After more than 1,000 Floridians volunteered to be part of the lawsuit, six same-sex couples were selected to file with gay-rights group Equality Florida for the right to marry in the state.
  • June 18, Broward County: City commissioners in Fort Lauderdale passed a marriage-equality resolution in support of same-sex marriage. The move was more of symbolic gesture of support so couples still can’t marry there.
  • July 15, Miami-Dade County: Miami Shores does not support a symbolic vote for gay marriage. The resolution fails in a 3-2 vote.
  • *July 17, Monroe County: It took a while, but a judge overturned the gay-marriage ban and ruled the couple could marry the following week, giving the county clerks some time to issue new marriage licenses.
  • July 17, Monroe County: A few hours after the judge ruled in favor of the same-sex couple, state Attorney General Pam Bondi appealed the judge’s decision, freezing the marriage process until an appeals court looks it over.
  • *July 25, Miami-Dade County: Judge overturns the ban and supports six couples to get their marriage licenses. But the judge puts her ruling on hold until the appeal in Monroe County is settled.
  • *August 4, Broward County: Judge strikes down ban in a twist case to eventually grant a woman a divorce from her same-sex civil union. As Florida doesn’t recognize same-sex marriages or unions, it can’t issue a divorce. So the judge strikes down ban to recognize it, however it is pending on the appeal.
  • *August 5, Palm Beach County: Judge rules marriage ban unconstitutional in case of survivorship. A widow was seeking Boynton Beach home that was shared with his spouse.