An attorney general in Florida is delaying the progress of four appeals cases. The cases are controversial because they relate to the divorce of homosexual couples living in Florida -- couples who were married in other states. At this time, Florida does not permit same-sex marriage, which has created a disconnect between the state and other areas which allow for same-sex unions.
Some Florida Judges Say Same-Sex Marriage Bans Are Unconstitutional
In the instant appeals cases, several lower court judges in Florida ruled that it is unconstitutional to prohibit same-sex marriage. The attorney general said that it is appropriate to wait for the U.S. Supreme Court to rule on the controversial issue before she allows these Florida cases to proceed. Nevertheless, constitutional law experts disagree, saying that the power to decide on same-sex marriage lies in state hands.
One of the appeals cases that has been delayed involves a homosexual couple who were married in New York. Later, the couple moved to Florida and decided that they were better off going their separate ways. Their attorney says that both sides of the pair want to get on with their new lives as soon as possible, but they can't in Florida, where gay marriage and gay divorce is not recognized. The only way the couple can legally separate is if they return to New York.
Same-Sex Couples Cannot Get Divorced in Some States
An attorney involved in the appeals cases commented that the couples are in a kind of legal purgatory right now. Many same-sex couples throughout the nation, who have moved to states that don't allow gay marriage, are unable to go through the divorce process, which is vital to navigating asset division, child custody and other matters in a way that ensures all parties are treated fairly.
Legal strategies and laws exist to provide clarity and resolution to most family law problems, but sometimes cultural shifts inspire changes to the law. As laws change in some states and not in others, groundbreaking decisions are sometimes made by state and federal Supreme Court justices. It will be interesting to see how the same-sex marriage debate progresses in individual states and federally.
What do you think about same-sex marriage and how should states resolve the disconnect between states that allow for same-sex marriage and states that don't?
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