Executive Director, ACLU of Florida
Prompted by the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in the ACLU’s case on behalf of Edie Windsor that struck down the heart of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), the law prohibiting the federal government from recognizing marriages of same-sex couples, more than 20 courts have issued rulings against similar state prohibitions.
Last week, Monroe County Circuit Court Judge Luis M. Garcia declared part of Florida’s ban unconstitutional. More cases are in the pipeline, including the ACLU’s case in federal court seeking what Judge Garcia’s opinion does not address: recognition of marriages performed in other states.
The flurry of activity across the country involves battles over the meaning of the due process and equal protection clauses of the Fourteenth Amendment — added to the Constitution after the Civil War to prevent states from depriving any person of fundamental rights.