Yet another judge has declared a ban on same sex marriages to be unconstitutional, and this one occurred right here in Florida. The Honorable Luis M. Garcia found the law preventing the Clerk of Monroe County from issuing marriage licenses to same sex couples invokes a fundamental right and has no rational basis and, accordingly, violates the Equal Protection and Due Process Clauses of the U.S. Constitution.
The order reads, in part, as follows:
Due Process Clause
There is no dispute by the parties that the right to marry is a fundamental right protected by the Fourteenth Amendment. The parting-of-the-ways occurs on whether the right to marry belongs to the individual and that individual’s choice of spouse or whether the state has the authority to dictate one’s choice in spouse to the opposite sex.
This court concludes that a citizen’s right to marry is a fundamental right that belongs to the individual. The right these plaintiffs seek is not a new right, but a right that these individuals have always been guaranteed by the United States Constitution. Societal norms and traditions have kept same-sex couples from marrying, like it kept women from voting until 1920 and forbid interracial marriage until 1967.