Clerk Talking Points
When you call your county clerk's office, you should start by asking them what time on January 6th do they plan to start issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples.
If they provide you with a time, please email that time to [email protected]
If they say they will not issue licenses (or aren't sure if they will), provide them with the following information:
- As of January 6, County Clerks across Florida have a legal obligation to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples
- The Supreme Court put an end to the confusion generated by a memo to Clerks from the legal counsel to the Florida Association of Clerks and Comptrollers on December 19 when they denied the Attorney General's final attempt to block same-sex marriages.
- Judge Hinkle’s ruling is very clear: The preliminary injunction binds the Secretary, the Surgeon General, and their officers, agents, servants, employees and attorneys – and others in active concert or participation with any of them – who receive actual notice of this injunction by personal service or otherwise.”
- A Federal district court in Florida has now joined the 60 other state and federal courts -- including 4 federal appellate courts -- who over the past year have affirmed the freedom to marry and held the denial of marriage to be unconstitutionalFlorida AG Pam Bondi has stated her goal is to have the rules apply uniformly statewide
- State Attorneys have begun publicly dismissing the idea that a clerk would face charges for issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples. David Aronberg, state attorney for the 15th Judicial Circuit in South Florida, said his office would not prosecute. Monroe County state attorney Catherine Vogel echoed the sentiment.
- The Osceola County commission has already voted that the second-floor courthouse office where passports and marriage licenses are issued will open at 12:01 am on January 6.
- The memo by a Greenberg Traurig attorney (which includes an exaggerated warning to Clerks that they could be fined or prosecuted) has been blasted by state and national legal experts. Law firms, private attorneys and legal organizations have committed to providing pro bono legal counsel to any Clerks who are concerned about the memo. Would you like me to have one of those law firms contact you?
- From Shannon Minter, Legal Director for the National Center for Lesbian Rights: “A discredited memo from a law firm won't provide much protection against the risk of being sued for unconstitutional actions and being held liable for any damages — and attorney fees — incurred by couples as a result of withholding the freedom to marry." Will you be risking expensive litigation, including liability for damages and attorney fees, by not upholding your oath of office?
Please email a summary of your conversation, including who you spoke with and the time, to [email protected].
Thank you so much for taking the time to join us in our fight to secure marriage for everyone at every clerk's office in Florida on January 6th!