A group called the Christian Family Coalition is ready to fight the push to overturn the Florida law that bans same-sex marriage. Monday, the group says it delivered more than 6,000 signatures supporting their push to keep the law in place.
“When you have 6,000 signatures in six days, it tells you there’s a firestorm out there and there’s a voter revolt and voters are sick and tired of having judge’s disrespect and throw out their vote,” said Anthony Verdugo of the CFC.
The petitions were delivered to Miami-Dade County Court and the group said couples like David Price and Dr. Juan Carlos Rodriguez should not be allowed to legally marry in Florida. Price and Rodriguez are among five plaintiffs who have sued in Miami-Dade County to overturn Florida’s 2008 ban on gay marriage.
“We’re on the right side of history,” said Price. “We’re on the right side of fairness and equality for all.”
The petitions come less than a week after Monroe County Judge Luis Garcia ruled a Key West couple could tie the knot.
Garcia said last week that the state's ban on same-sex marriage is discriminatory and violates gay people's right to equal treatment under the law. He had initially ruled that marriage licenses could be issued in Monroe County as early as Tuesday. However, that was immediately blocked by an automatic stay triggered when Republican Attorney General Pam Bondi filed notice of the state's appeal.
Garcia on Monday denied an emergency motion, filed by the Key West bartenders whose suit had successfully gotten the ban overturned, to lift the stay of his ruling.
However, Verdugo said that ruling sparked a backlash.
“What Judge Garcia has done is disrespect and throw out the votes of eight million Floridians,” Verdugo said. “Regardless of how you feel about marriage or any other issue; one judge does not have the right to throw out eight million votes.”
Stratton Pollitzer of Equality Florida said Verdugo is wrong and that Judge Garcia was following the lead of 25 other courts in the nation.
“It’s the job of the courts to determine when someone’s fundamental rights are being violated,” Pollitzer said. “That’s how the constitution is interpreted, and that’s on a number of cases. It’s not about majority rule when it comes to the violation of someone’s fundamental rights. It’s not up to popular vote whether you get the same rights as everybody else.”
The ruling will be taken to a higher court for a final decision.