Pam Bondi's announcement late Thursday that Florida should stop fighting the gay-marriage battle at the state level and wait until the U.S. Supreme Court ultimately contends with the issue isn't going down well in certain quarters today — namely among Democrats and activists in the LGBT community.
The Florida Attorney General's statement was issued in response to filings made to the state's 3rd District Court of Appeal regarding cases in Monroe and Miami-Dade Counties in which circuit court judges ruled that the state's ban on same-sex marriage violates the 14th Amendment to the U.W. Constitution.
"The issue in this appeal is whether the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution requires states to sanction same-sex marriage," the AG writes."That is unquestionably an important issue, and the Plaintiffs, the State,
and all citizens deserve a definitive answer. But neither this Court nor the Florida Supreme Court can decide this federal issue with finality."
"The State of Florida will respect the United States Supreme Court’s final word," Bondi continues. "In the meantime, this Court should preserve taxpayer and judicial resources by staying briefing until the United States Supreme Court rules."
With the momentum at their backs, state Democrats reacted with indignation this morning upon learning of Bondi's decision to kick the case up to the Supreme Court, as opposed to having it go to the 3rd District Court of Appeal or ultimately the Florida Supreme Court, which is where LGBT activists were hoping it could be ultimately decided.
"Pam Bondi’s attempt to stonewall the efforts of LGBT Floridians to secure their civil rights because it’s an inconvenience to her reelection campaign is not just offensive, it's unconscionable,” said Florida Democratic Party Political Director Christian Ulvert. “If Pam Bondi truly cared about preserving taxpayer resources, she should simply stop standing up for the forces of discrimination.
"This move is a continuation of Pam Bondi's assault on the civil rights of LGBT Floridians. Justice is not delivered on the whims of convenience, and no matter how much it may frustrate Pam Bondi, we will not give up this fight until all Floridians enjoy full equality under the law.”
By the end of the day Ulvert was attempting to transform that anger by urging supporters to write a letter directly to Bondi. "Friend, will you join me in this fight? Let’s send a message to Pam Bondi and Rick Scott that it’s time to end their bigoted fight against equality once and for all."
The LGBT-activist group Equality Florida also sent a message to supporters earlier today, with executive director Nadine Smith writing, " There is no certainty when or even if the Supreme Court will take a marriage case, and while AG Bondi delays, thousands of Florida families are denied the security and protections that come with the freedom to marry."
Later in the day Equality Florida sent out another release, also asking members to sign a petition, or donate to the group.