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Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Florida Keys Court Rules for Same-Sex Marriage

"The Supreme Court in Lawrence explained that every generation defines its own freedom and that our present laws may be judged by future generations as oppressive and obviously unconstitutional. The same way we now look at laws that forbade interracial marriages, or excluded homosexuals from entering the country, or kept women from voting, or kept black children from going to school with white children, or that U.S. imprisoned Japanese-Americans, on U.S. soil, in camps during WWII. When these laws were in effect, they were supported by society as being reflective of our traditions and morals at the time. Only when those not in power challenged the constitutionality of those laws were they overturned by the courts regardless of the law's popularity and years of tradition. "One's right to life, liberty, and property, to free speech, a free press, freedom of worship and assembly, and other fundamental rights may not be submitted to a vote; they depend on the outcome of no elections." W. Virginia State Bd. of Educ. v. Barnette, 319 U.S. 624 (1943). (Emphasis Added).

This court holds that the fundamental right to marry belongs to the individual and is protected by the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution and that right encompasses the right to marry a person of one's own sex. Thus Article I, Section 27 of the Florida Constitution and Florida Statute 741.04(1) are unconstitutional...

... The court finds Article I, Section 27 of the Florida Constitution and Florida Statute 741.04(1) as unconstitutional under the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment...

The court is aware that the majority of voters oppose same-sex marriage but it is our country's proud history to protect the rights of the individual, the rights of the unpopular and the rights of the powerless, even at the cost of offending the majority. Whether it's the NRA protecting our right to bear arms when the City of Chicago attempted to ban handguns within its city limits; or when Nazi supremacists won the right to march in Skokie, Illinois, a predominantly Jewish neighborhood; or when a black woman wanted to marry a white man in Virginia; or when black children wanted to go to an all-white school, the Constitution guarantees and protects ALL of its citizens from government interference with those rights. All laws passed whether by the legislature of by popular support must pass the scrutiny of the United States Constitution, to do otherwise diminishes the Constitution to just a historical piece of paper."

Judge Luis M. Garcia, 16th Judicial Circuit Court, Monroe County, Florida, July 17, 2014.

     click here to read entire decision (not quite primary source)

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