Friday, September 5, 2014

From Divorce To Marriage

A gay divorce could be the path to marriage equality in Fort Lauderdale.  Via Steve Rothaus:

The deadline passed late Wednesday without an appeal from Attorney General Pam Bondi’s office of a Broward circuit court ruling in August that Florida’s gay marriage ban is unconstitutional.

And although Bondi did file appeals Thursday in two federal lawsuits brought by nine same-sex couples, the Broward case could pave the way for Florida’s first same-sex divorce — and even its first same-sex marriages.

Allowing the Broward case to move forward means Judge Dale Cohen can finalize a divorce for a Lake Worth lesbian seeking to end her 2002 Vermont civil union.

“Now we know the state isn’t appealing and we will have the first valid same-sex divorce in Florida,” said Coral Springs attorney Nancy Brodzki, who represents art dealer Heather Brassner in her divorce from Megan Lade.

Broward County Clerk Howard Forman said he expects to decide by early next week whether to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

“I’m researching it as quickly as I can. We’ve been researching it for months,” Forman said Thursday evening. “Florida’s changing a lot, and we’re vetting the issue as hard as we can.”

Only in Florida could something like that make sense, but we’ll take victories any way we can.