Skip to comments.Three Florida Counties Put an End to Courthouse Weddings to Avoid Performing Gay Marriage Ceramonies
Posted on 01/01/2015 11:01:15 AM PST by SeekAndFind
In response to the likelihood that a federal judge will rule that a lift on the state's gay marriage ban will apply to all Florida counties, three Jacksonville-area counties have decided that they'll stop conducting courthouse weddings.
In order to avoid having to perform same-sex wedding ceremonies, clerks of courts in Duval County, Baker County and Clay County have decided to put an end to all courthouse weddings in their counties, The Florida Times-Union reported Wednesday.
Although the report states that the clerks listed multiple reasons for their decision, with the state's limbo over gay marriage being one of them, the decision to stop performing courthouse weddings is due largely to trying to avoid performing same-sex weddings.
Federal Judge Robert Hinkle, who struck down the state's gay marriage ban in an August court case originating in Washington County, is set to clarify whether or not his decision applies to just Washington County or the whole state of Florida when the ban is lifted on Jan. 6. But regardless of what Hinkle rules, the three counties' new policies of not performing courthouse weddings will still take effect.
Duval County Clerk of Courts Ronnie Fussell told the Times-Union that after multiple meetings with her staff, whom officiate courthouse weddings, none of them felt comfortable conducting same-sex weddings and they all decided to do away with all weddings in general.
"It was decided as a team, as an office, this would be what we do so that there wouldn't be any discrimination," Fussell said. "The easiest way is to not do them at all."
The three Jacksonville metro area counties will join two Panhandle counties, Santa Rosa County and Okaloosa County, which announced earlier this month that they'll no longer be conducting courthouse weddings. However, those counties' decisions were likely due to budget shortfalls.
Nadine Smith, co-founder of the Florida gay activist group Equality Florida, said that she thinks the clerks' decisions to do away with all courthouse weddings in response to gay marriage could easily backfire and be seen as a snide and hateful move.
"I think it would be outrageous for clerks to change the rules simply because gay couples are getting married," Smith said.
The association that represents the county clerks of Florida holds the stance that Hinkle's lift of the gay marriage ban only applies to Washington County. As CBS News reports, most county clerks in Florida do not plan to begin issuing gay marriage licenses when the ban is officially lifted on Jan. 6.
Two counties in Florida, Orange County and Osceola County, have already greenlighted their courts to give out marriage licenses to same-sex couples come Jan. 6. However, Florida Family Action, a conservative group, has filed a lawsuit against the mayor of Orlando and the clerk of courts of Osceola County on Tuesday in a move to try to prevent those jurisdictions from giving out marriage licenses to gay couples.
With counties confused on whether or not to begin issuing gay marriage licenses, Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi filed a legal response this week to Hinkle officially asking for his clarification.
I’m just posting the title AS IS, typos and all.
maybe the state legislature should do it
Next step is the courts will force them to perform weddings.
Just one of the many ways gay marriage impacts all marriages, now nobody can be married?
People are waking up to the fact that LOCALS have more power than feds.
RE: Just one of the many ways gay marriage impacts all marriages, now nobody can be married?
The churches are still available for traditional weddings.
The purpose of legalizing same-sex "marriage" is and always was to destroy the institution of marriage altogether.
No one can be married by a JP in the county courthouse, I guess. I wonder if there is a difference in the divorce rates between those who get married by a JP and those who get married in some sort of religious ceremony.
No, people will be, because homosexuals and atheists will be demanding civil ceremonies.
IMHO, it depends on who, atheists may have fairly stable marriages.
Outraged because they changed the rules.
I'm thinking that not only are these people deviant, they've completely lost the ability to detect irony.
Not gay, queer and miserable. Bringing God’s wrath down on us.
Maybe the State should just do away with Marriage Licenses altogether. Tell everyone to go to the Federal Court House and get a Federal Marriage License.
Sure, but I would hazard that actual atheists make up a pretty small % of those who actually bother to get the court house wedding.
“The purpose of legalizing same-sex “marriage” is and always was to destroy the institution of marriage altogether.”
They can only destroy marriage for those that rely on the state to define marriage. For many, the state’s definition hasn’t been the correct one for centuries, for many more since the state came up with no-fault divorce.
I think the real purpose is to use the power of the state to punish and to be able to keep punishing those who they know will never accept it. It’s the stick they won’t ever have to put down.
Like voo doo ... it don’t work if you don’t believe in it.