Here's the transcript of Billy Manes' segment on WMFE 90.7 FM this morning (re-airing Saturday at 9:59 a.m.)
The long, slow march to marriage equality in Florida got a little spring in its step on January 21 when six same-sex couples in Miami filed suit against the Miami-Dade County clerk of courts for refusing to issue them marriage licenses. The plaintiffs were joined by Equality Florida in citing last summer’s Supreme Court ruling on DOMA in which the Court called into question the equal protection clause of the 14th amendment to the US Constitution. In a sense, this is playing out just as it had been planned: with judicious caution
But there is an air of optimism to the proceedings now, especially considering the favorable court rulings handed down by judges in deeply red states like Oklahoma and Utah. Oklahoma judge Terence C. Kern didn’t mince words when he called that state’s gay marriage ban “an arbitrary, irrational exclusion of just one class of Oklahoma citizens from a governmental benefit.” It should be noted, however, that the exclusion will continue – as it currently does in Utah – at least until a federal court appeal is resolved next month. Florida can expect a similar drawn-out process in the coming months, even years, experts say.
Interestingly, conservative hate groups the Florida Family Policy Council don’t seem to be able to keep up with the quickly turning social tides. Though they’re squawking that they will spend whatever it takes to fight marriage equality in Florida, and even invoking the name of Attorney General Pam Bondi, theirs is a losing battle. These are historic times. And institutionalized hate is looking a lot like history.