A gay couple seeking to dissolve their marriage in Florida may pave the way for other same-sex couples to tie the knot.
Florida’s Second District Court of appeals has asked the Florida Supreme Court to review the state constitution’s ban on same-sex marriage, after a gay couple’s petition to end their union was rejected, reports the Associated Press. The pair had married in the marriage equality state of Massachusetts and then moved to the Tampa area, creating a legal gray area that prompted the lower court to make the surprising request to resolve an issue of "great public importance."
"Resolution of the constitutional questions will no doubt impact far more individuals than the two involved here, a there can be little doubt that until the constitutional questions are finally resolved by the Florida Supreme Court or the United States Supreme Court, there will be a great impact on the proper administration of justice in Florida,” the opinion read.
The request follows a ruling by federal judge in Tallahassee last week, which declared that Florida’s ban on performing or recognizing same-sex marriages violates the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. The order is accompanied by a stay while this and similar cases nationwide are appealed, meaning same-sex couples cannot yet marry in Florida.
Judges in four other counties have also overturned the ban, despite a request by the state’s attorney general, Pam Bondi, to cease rulings until the legality of the measure, which was approved by voters in 2008, is determined by the U.S. Supreme Court.
However, should the Florida Supreme Court accept the case, marriage equality could become a reality in the Sunshine State before that time.