Gay couples suing the state of Florida are ready to battle attorney general Pam Bondi in court.
Florida’s Attorney General has filed motions to defend the states same sex marriage ban after it was challenged in January by six couples, and it’s not sitting well with some Floridians.
"Well we're in love and we want to get married,” plaintiff Don Johnston said. “And that’s the thing that has mattered so much to us."
In December, Johnston and Jorge Diaz got engaged. But the next date they planned wouldn’t be for their wedding; it would be to sue the state along with six other couples and Equality Florida. They're now challenging the state’s ban on same sex marriages.
"This is clearly for us not just a question of love and wanting to express our love and have the benefits that everyone else has in the state, but it’s an issue of equality and it’s a civil rights issue," plaintiff Jorge Diaz said.
But this week, with a memo and a few pages of motions, Attorney General Bondi officially entered the same-sex marriage battleground. And she’s armed with the power of the voters who decided in 2008 to ban gay marriages.
University of Miami Professor of Law Charlton Copeland says she’s doing so despite the U.S. Attorney General advising against it.
"Clearly she has an interest. That is state laws are being challenged as unconstitutional,” Professor Copeland said. “To say she has the right to intervene and to say this is a wise policy choice is a different question. It might be a wise political choice."
Bondi may be fighting an uphill battle. Just Wednesday, another federal appeals court ruled Utah’s gay marriage ban unconstitutional. Don & Jorge believe it’s only a matter of time before that happens here.
"Yeah actually she’s probably holding us up even further,” Johnston said. “The longer this drags out; the longer we can’t get married, the longer everyone else cant."
As of Wednesday, there are 31 states that still have gay marriage restrictions with more than 70 lawsuits pending.