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VICTORY! JUDGE RULES IN FAVOR OF THE PLAINTIFFS!
"... this Court finds that Florida’s statutory and constitutional restrictions on same-sex marriage violate the Due Process and Equal Protection Clauses of the United States Constitution. They improperly infringe upon the Plaintiffs’ ability to exercise their fundamental right to marry the person of their choice, and upon their liberty interests regarding personal autonomy, family integrity, association, and dignity. They also unlawfully discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation." - Judge Sarah Zabel, 11th Circuit
• DOWNLOAD THE ORDER GRANTING PLAINTIFFS' MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT issued by Judge Zabel on July 25, 2014
Background on the case: On January 21, 2014, six same-sex couples and Equality Florida Institute filed a lawsuit in Florida state court in Miami seeking the freedom to marry. The lawsuit, whose abbreviated case style is Pareto v. Ruvin, argues that Florida’s laws barring same-sex couples from marriage violate the United States Constitution by denying them the legal protections and equal dignity that having the freedom to marry provides. Elizabeth F. Schwartz is proud to be co-counsel on this case, along with the National Center for Lesbian Rights, the law firm Carlton Fields Jorden Burt, and attorney Mary B. Meeks.
• Download the official Complaint filed in Court
• Download the official press release
• Download the Answer and Affirmative Defenses filed by Defendant Harvey Ruvin, Clerk of Courts
• Download the Motion to Intervene filed by Florida Family Action, Inc., Florida Democratic League, Inc., and People United to Lead the Struggle for Equality, Inc.
• Download the Plaintiff's Motion for Summary Judgment
• Download the Plaintiff’s Memorandum in Support of Motion for Summary Judgment
• Download the Order Denying Motion to Intervene issued by Judge Zabel on June 3, 2014
Learn more about the case, and about the recent Supreme Court decisions that set the stage for this battle, on our Marriage Equality page.