Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Florida State Judge To County Clerk: Issuing Marriage Licenses To Same-Sex Couple Will Not Break The Law

With all the hand-wringing over whether marriage licenses can or will be issued statewide in Florida come January 6th, Orange County Clerk Tiffany Moore Russell did the logical thing - she asked a judge in the courthouse where she works to tell her what to do.

Moore Russell had filed suit yesterday in the courthouse where she works, asking a judge to give her instructions on what to do.

A Tallahassee federal judge has declared the state's ban on same-sex marriage unconstitutional and ordered his ruling implemented Jan. 6.

But the Florida Association of Court Clerks and Comptrollers two weeks ago told its members statewide not to issue the licenses, and Moore Russell said at the time that she would follow that advice.

Behind the scenes, though, she was working on the problem. Yesterday she filed a petition, asking Shea to clarify what she should do.

Today he issued an order, telling her that if she issues marriage licenses to same-sex couples, she would not be breaking the law or violating her oath of office.

Russell has issued this statement upon receiving guidance from Judge Shea:

“I thank the Court for providing clarity on this issue. I specifically want to thank Judge Shea for his guidance in this matter. Since the question of issuing same-sex marriage licenses was first directed at Clerks, my office has consistently stated that we would continue to seek judicial clarification. That is why we filed this emergency petition and we are grateful for the clear direction it provides as we move closer to January 6.”

More at the Orlando Sentinel.

(h/t JMG)

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