Equality Florida Institute and Plaintiff Couples File Motion
for Judge Zabel to Lift Stay at Monday Hearing
(January 3, 2015) Miami – Equality Florida Institute and six same-sex couples seeking the right to marry (Pareto v. Ruvin) are asking Judge Sarah Zabel to lift a stay on her ruling that declared the anti-gay marriage ban unconstitutional. Judge Zabel has set a hearing for Monday, January 5 at 11 am following a motion filed by Miami Dade County Clerk Harvey Ruvin, asking Zabel for guidance now that a federal judge has cleared the way for marriage in all 67 counties.
Several couples among the six at the heart of the lawsuit are prepared to get married right away if Judge Zabel ends her stay during at the hearing on Monday.
The motion comes as clerks across Florida prepare to begin issuing marriage licenses for gay couples on January 6th. The motion to lift the stay notes that such a move has led other state courts to allow marriages to commence immediately.
"In light of these developments, Plaintiffs request that this Court lift its stay of its July 25, 2014 ruling immediately. Lifting the stay would be consistent with the actions of the U.S. Supreme Court and federal circuit and district courts in similar cases in which orders striking down state marriage bans have been permitted to go into effect while appeals are pending." The motion also states that "maintaining the stay in this case is no longer warranted and would have no practical effect other than to cause potential confusion."