Another marriage equality decision in Florida

Another judge struck down the marriage equality ban in Florida, this time in Miami-Dade county. Judge Zabel's decision came two weeks after Judge Garcia made a similar ruling affecting a couple's desire to wed in Monroe County. Both decisions have been stayed pending appeal. The Florida State Attorney General, Pam Bondi continues to defend the ban in court and vocally in the press. News coverage on Spanish-language television has shown the protests by people like Anthony Verdugo from the Christian Family Coalition-recently added to GLAAD's Commentator Accountability Project profiles.

Verdugo and other opposition groups in Florida are insisting that their "votes be respected" and comparing their efforts to past Civil Rights struggles. Although, the rhetoric is not outwardly hateful, the logic is twisted. 1) The people who fought for Civil Rights were working and are still working toward and expansion of equality, access and justice not towards restricting, or blocking the ability of adults to form loving families. 2) The judges have pointed out that the ban was discriminatory and that therefore the voters' 6 year old ban should not stand:

Circuit Judge Sarah Zabel quoted in the Tampa Bay Times,

"[the ban] serves only to hurt, to discriminate, to deprive same-sex couples and their families of equal dignity, to label and treat them as second-class citizens, and to deem them unworthy of participation in one of the fundamental institutions of our society."

Earlier in the decision that affected Monroe County, Judge Luis M. Garcia wrote the following as quoted by ABC News:

"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."