Can two women who were married in Massachusetts but now are residents of Florida divorce in Florida? That is the question that my Tampa client and her wife were looking to have answered in the affirmative. The trial judge determined that she did not have the power to dissolve a marriage that the State of Florida did not recognize.
When we appealed, we asked a panel of judges to skip the normal appellate process and go straight to the Florida Supreme Court. Our argument was that this case involves issues of such public importance, and that determining whether married couples of the same sex can divorce affects the administration of justice throughout the state. Our request for the expedited process was denied.
And then we got word yesterday. The judges of the Second District Court of Appeals decided en banc (with the input of all of the judges of the Court, excluding a judge who had recused himself) that this case should go straight to the Florida Supreme Court.
Below are portions of the brand new ruling: