Lawsuit filed challenging FL's ban on same-sex marriage

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Posted: Thursday, March 13, 2014 10:53 am

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) -- The American Civil Liberties Union and the ACLU of Florida are the latest groups to file lawsuits against Florida in a push to overturn the state's policy to not recognize same-sex marriage.

The groups announced Thursday morning they have filed a lawsuit in federal court on behalf of eight same-sex couples and a South Florida-based LGBT rights organization.

"These eight couples have all the rights and responsibilities of marriage in the states where they exchanged vows, and the federal government recognizes their marriages as well. It's time for Florida to stop the harmful practice of treating committed couples as if they are strangers," said Daniel Tilley, LGBT rights attorney for the ACLU of Florida.

The lawsuit challenges Florida's refusal to recognize same-sex marriages that are recognized in other states and by the federal government. The filing also named Governor Rick Scott, Attorney General Pam Bondi, Florida Surgeon General and Secretary of Health John H. Armstrong, and Secretary of the Florida Department of Management Services Craig Nichols.

Among the plaintiffs in the case is Sloan Grimsley, a firefighter from Palm Gardens, and her wife Joyce Albu.

"I'm proud of the work that I do protecting my community, but the law in Florida doesn't let me protect my own family," stated Grimsley. "We just want the peace of mind of knowing that those vows we took to care for one another aren't dependent on where we are."

In January, six south Florida same-sex couples filed suit in Miami-Dade Circuit Court, challenging the state's outright ban on gay marriage.

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