Florida voices join strong national chorus urging the U.S. Supreme Court to end marriage discrimination nationwide
Today, Friday, March 6, dozens of amici, or “friend-of-the-court” briefs were filed to the U.S. Supreme Court, urging the Court to rule in favor of the freedom to marry and strike down bans on marriage between same-sex couples nationwide. In Florida, same-sex couples have been able to marry since January 2015, but without a final ruling on marriage from the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals, a positive decision from the nation’s highest court is critical to ensuring that the freedom to marry remains the law of the land in Florida once and for all.
The amici briefs were filed as the United States Supreme Court prepares to hear oral arguments in the marriage cases, which are scheduled for Tuesday, April 28 in Washington, D.C. A decision is expected by late June.
Take a look at the complete list of briefs filed today here.
Nadine Smith, CEO of Equality Florida, said today:
“We are proud that so many Florida leaders have signed on in support of marriage equality,” said Nadine Smith, CEO of Equality Florida. “In the two months since Floridians won the freedom to marry, we’ve seen the love, the commitment, the joy it has brought to thousands of families. We’re looking forward to the Supreme Court’s decision, which we hope will ensure the freedom to marry for all Americans.”
Don’t miss several of the key briefs filed today, highlighting Florida’s integral signers and the overall national momentum for marriage:
Clergy and Faith Leaders: The Faith Brief was signed by nearly 2,000 faith leaders, arguing that the freedom to marry will affirm religious liberty in the United States. Over 100 faith leaders from Florida signed onto the brief, including Bishop Leopold Frade and Rev. Dr. Laura Walters.
Employers, Businesses and Organizations: The Business Brief was signed by almost 400 leading American businesses, and outlines how the patchwork marriage laws across the country add an economic and administrative burden on the companies as they try to accommodate their employees. Florida businesses included Baker & McKenzie LLP, Office Depot, Inc, Tech Data Corporation, and The Ultimate Software Group, Inc.
Law Enforcement Officers, First Responders, and Organizations: The First Responders Brief was signed by over 200 workers nationwide who put their lives on the line every day for their country. The brief makes the case that extending the freedom to marry to same-sex couples protects First Responders and their families through equal rights in life and equal access to benefits for the families of the fallen. Over 40 first responders from Florida signed onto the brief, including Sheriff Scott Israel of Broward County, Tampa Police Chief Jane Castor, former Tallahassee Fire Chief Cindy Dick, and former Tallahassee Deputy Police Chief Cheryl Stewart.
Mayors: The Mayors Brief was signed by 226 mayors, as well as 40 cities from across the country. The brief was signed by Mayors for the Freedom to Marry three years after its launch, and explains how the freedom to marry has positively affected the cities in which it is law. Florida mayors who signed on to the brief represented Orlando, Tallahassee, St. Petersburg, City of South Miami, Broward County, Key West, Sunrise, Hallandale Beach, Biscayne Park, Lauderhill, North Bay Village, Pembroke Pines, and Wilton Manor.