Florida residents voted to ban gay marriage in the Sunshine State back in 2008 by 62 percent.
However, yesterday, Monroe County Chief Circuit Judge Luis Garcia ruled that gay couples in the Florida Keys should be allowed to marry, noted The Washington Post.
“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 rights of the powerless, even at the cost of offending the majority,” Judge Garcia ruled. "This court concludes that a citizen’s right to marry is a fundamental right that belongs to the individual.”
Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi filed an appeal of Judge Garcia's ruling, which automatically placed a stay (hold) on Judge Garcia's decision until the appeal is ruled upon.
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John Stemberger, of the Christian-based Florida Family Council, which led the state ban against gay marriage in 2008, told the Miami Herald, “This is an issue worth dying for. Every domestic partnership, every single civil union, every couple that cohabitates, these arrangements dilute and devalue marriage.”
Stemberger didn't explain how marriage is devalued by domestic partnerships, civil unions and cohabitating.
“The court was very hostile to our position,” added Stemberger. “This is a very sad day for Floridians. This is an entirely illegitimate process. The judge had no legal authority in this decision.”
In addition to his political activism, Stemberger founded Trail Life USA, an alternative to the Boy Scouts, which does not allow any openly gay members or scouts who do not agree with Christian "Trinity" theology.
Stemberger also uploaded a video (below) on YouTube yesterday in which he slammed Judge Garcia's ruling.
“The judge is wrong, he had no legal authority to make this decision today," said Stemberger. "He has defied the rule of law. He has defied the constitution of the state of Florida and he’s defied you, the five million voters who said 'yes' to marriage in 2008. And we defended marriage and put that in our state constitution for the very reason that a judge would not strike it down."