TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (BP)–Homosexual activists have withdrawn a Florida case seeking the legalization of “gay marriage,” although eight states nationwide remain involved in identical suits seeking the redefinition of marriage.
The Florida case, brought by the National Center for Lesbian Rights, was withdrawn in February, the Christian legal group Liberty Counsel said March 27. At one time, eight such lawsuits were active in Florida, although all of them now have been pulled.
But the news doesn’t mean homosexual activists are giving up. All total, eight states are defending their marriage laws in court. Those states are California, Connecticut, Iowa Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Oklahoma and Washington. Oklahoma’s is the only one involving a federal court.
The highest courts in New Jersey and Washington could rule any day on the issue of “gay marriage.” New York’s highest court will hear such a case in May. It is possible that by the end of the year, four states will have legalized “gay marriage.” Massachusetts’ highest court handed down its pro-“gay marriage” ruling in 2003.
Withdrawing the Florida case may have been pragmatic on the part of homosexual activists. Conservatives in Florida are attempting to collect enough signatures to place a state constitutional marriage amendment on the ballot in 2008. Withdrawing the lawsuit allows liberal groups to argue against the amendment by saying that no legal threat exists. If they were to defeat the amendment, they could then re-file the suit.
Liberty Counsel, which had filed an amicus brief in the Florida cases, said an amendment is still needed.
“Although all eight court challenges against Florida’s marriage laws are over, voters can only be certain to protect marriage through the passage of a state constitutional amendment,” Liberty Counsel President Mathew Staver said in a statement. “To successfully defend marriage, we must win all of the time. One loss can create a ripple effect around the country. Courts did not create marriage and should not destroy it.
“Efforts to pass state and federal constitutional marriage amendments will continue to move forward. When people are allowed a choice, they always choose marriage as the union of only one man and one woman.”
Nineteen states have adopted constitutional marriage amendments, and at least seven states are expected to vote on them this year.
For more information about the national debate over “gay marriage,” visit http://www.bpnews.net/samesexmarriage