Florida gay-marriage lawsuit called a ‘publicity stunt’

The chief architect of Florida’s constitutional amendment prohibiting gay marriage on Tuesday dismissed a lawsuit against the state by six gay couples as a “publicity stunt” aimed at a measure backed by a solid majority of Sunshine State voters.

“Sixty-two percent of Floridians have decisively spoken on this issue,” said John Stemberger, president of the Florida Family Policy Council, in statement on the policy council’s Facebook page.

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Photo: CBS 4 News screenshot
Gay couples attend a news conference Tuesday morning to announce a lawsuit against Florida’s constitutional amendment banning recognition of same sex marriages.

“Gay activists cannot win in the marketplace of ideas, so they have resorted to trying to find renegade courts who have little respect for the rule of law to create social change that would never happen through the people or their elected representatives.”

The lawsuit was filed in Miami-Dade Circuit Court and claimed the 2008 constitutional amendment that stated Florida would not recognize any marriage that was not made up of one man and one woman denies gay couples the “equal dignity” a recognized marriage affords, according to Reuters

The suit follows last summer’s decision by the U.S. Supreme Court in the Windsor v. United States case that ruled that the federal Defense of Marriage Act was unconstitutional, but left state-level recognition up to the individual legislatures.

Florida’s constitutional amendment was approved by almost 62 percent of its voters, but gay rights activists on Tuesday said that vote – only five years ago – is already obsolete.

At a news conference Tuesday morning in Miami Beach announcing the suit, the leader of the activist group Equality Florida said the state’s ban on gay marriage hurts same sex families and their children.

“We stand here for the children of couples who want to know why their parents aren’t permitted to get married the way their classmates’ parents are,” she said, according to the Miami Herald.

But Stemberger’s statement maintained that states that have enshrined traditional marriage – like Florida – are the true protectors of the family.

“In states where marriage has been redefined it has produced absurd results– in the law, in education, in religious liberties and in what is best for children, families, and the common good of society,” the statement said.

“When it comes to defining marriage, history will always be on the side of nature, biology, logic, and the collective wisdom of human history.”

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