Last Update 11:27
Tuesday, 23 July 2019

Same-sex couples wed in Florida as gay marriage ban ends

AFP , Tuesday 6 Jan 2015
Same-sex marriage
Aaron Huntsman, center left, and William Lee Jones, center right, complete their wedding vows on the steps of the Monroe County Courthouse early Tuesday, Jan. 6, 2015 (Photo: AP)
Share/Bookmark
Views: 1056
Share/Bookmark
Views: 1056

Scores of same-sex Florida couples tied the knot early Tuesday after the state's ban on gay marriage ended.

Overjoyed couples filed into courthouses and exchanged vows just after midnight, as Florida became the 36th of America's 50 states to allow gay marriage.

"I'm glad it's finally legal," William Lee Jones told the Miami Herald after he married his partner of more than 10 years, Aaron Huntsman.

The couple were among several who had sued Florida for the right to marry.

US District Judge Robert Hinkle ruled last week that court officials must not enforce the state's ban, which was approved by voters in 2008.

In an August ruling, Hinkle said the ban was unconstitutional and he likened it to laws banning interracial marriages that were overturned 50 yeas ago.

So many couples showed up at the courthouses in some counties that officials held mass wedding ceremonies as jubilant friends and supporters cheered outside.

"It's about time, is what I feel. I didn't think it would happen in my lifetime," Irma Oliver of West Palm Beach told the Palm Beach Post as she married her partner of a decade, Julia Borghese.

Florida is America's third most populous state behind California and Texas, with a population of about 20 million.

In 2013, the US Supreme Court recognized marriage equality when it overturned a federal law that defined marriage in strictly heterosexual terms.

This cleared the way for married gay and lesbian couples to enjoy the same rights and privileges under federal law as their straight counterparts.

It nevertheless left it to each of the 50 states to legalize or ban same-sex marriages.

Short link:

 

Email
 
Name
 
Comment's
Title
 
Comment
Ahram Online welcomes readers' comments on all issues covered by the site, along with any criticisms and/or corrections. Readers are asked to limit their feedback to a maximum of 1000 characters (roughly 200 words). All comments/criticisms will, however, be subject to the following code
  • We will not publish comments which contain rude or abusive language, libelous statements, slander and personal attacks against any person/s.
  • We will not publish comments which contain racist remarks or any kind of racial or religious incitement against any group of people, in Egypt or outside it.
  • We welcome criticism of our reports and articles but we will not publish personal attacks, slander or fabrications directed against our reporters and contributing writers.
  • We reserve the right to correct, when at all possible, obvious errors in spelling and grammar. However, due to time and staffing constraints such corrections will not be made across the board or on a regular basis.
Latest

© 2010 Ahram Online.