Despite Federal Ruling, Florida AG Refuses To Direct Court Clerks To Issue Marriage Licenses
January 2, 2015

Really. Florida AG Pam Bondi, the woman who loves marriage so much, she's on her third one, is refusing to acknowledge that she lost her countersuit? Instead, she's claiming that court clerks simply get to decide who's worthy of a marriage license. She's a rightwing bigot (or else she cynically plays one on TV) whose real talent is grabbing the spotlight:

U.S. District Judge Robert L. Hinkle ruled New Years Day that all Florida clerks are bound by the U.S. Constitution not to enforce Florida’s gay marriage ban and that any couple seeking a license on Tuesday should receive one.

“The preliminary injunction now in effect thus does not require the Clerk to issue licenses to other applicants,” Hinkle wrote in an order released Thursday afternoon. “But as set out in the order that announced issuance of the preliminary injunction, the Constitution requires the Clerk to issue such licenses.”

“We are thankful that Judge Hinkle agreed with us that the Constitution does not tolerate discrimination and that beginning Tuesday, Jan. 6, all clerks in Florida have an obligation to issue marriage licenses to couples requesting them,” said Howard Simon, executive director of the ACLU of Florida.

Simon said Hinkle’s “injunction has statewide impact because he found the law unconstitutional and therefore, as we have been saying, no public official should be acting in accordance with an unconstitutional provision.”

Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi responded 6 p.m. Thursday: “This office has sought to minimize confusion and uncertainty, and we are glad the Court has provided additional guidance. My office will not stand in the way as clerks of court determine how to proceed.”

“She’s saying look, ‘Judge Hinkle did not tell the clerks that they are required to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples, however, he told them that they may issue marriage licenses’ and she’s not going to stand in their way of whatever independent decisions they may make,” said David Weinstein, a former assistant Miami-Dade state attorney and assistant U.S. attorney, now in private practice and not involved in the case.

Simon’s response to Bondi: “She is not serving the state of Florida and causing precisely the kind of chaos that this judge has tried to prevent with today’s order. This is the low point in a the performance of an attorney general. Her willful misreading of Hinkle’s order is creating confusion.”

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