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Lawsuits in 8 states seek same-sex ‘marriage’ legalization

TAMPA, Fla. (BP)–When a lesbian couple filed a federal lawsuit July 20 to have their Massachusetts marriage license recognized in Florida, few noticed. It was, after all, only the latest court case seeking the legalization of same-sex “marriage.”

But pro-family leaders noticed. The case was the first in the nation where a same-sex couple sought recognition of their marriage license in another state. If the lawsuit is successful, then all 50 states could be required to recognize same-sex “marriage.”

“This is major litigation,” Jay Sekulow, president of the American Center for Law and Justice, said on his radio program.

The case only confirmed what Sekulow and others had been warning — marriage licenses from Massachusetts will be used throughout the country to legalize same-sex “marriage” nationwide.

Including Florida, eight states currently are in court defending their laws against same-sex “marriage” legalization. The others are California, Indiana, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Oregon and Washington. Florida, though, is the only one where a couple with a state-recognized marriage license is suing.

That total — eight — does not include other states where cases have run their course. In West Virginia, homosexual activists lost in the state Supreme Court. In North Carolina, a lower court threw out a case, and the plaintiffs chose not to appeal.

“The same-sex marriage movement is vulnerable right now, because it has moved too fast in a very short period of time,” Mathew Staver, president of the Liberty Counsel, told Baptist Press. “It is resulting in a gag reaction by the majority of Americans who are seeing this agenda being shoved down throats.”

Staver said that nationwide, there have been more than 30 lawsuits seeking same-sex “marriage” legalization.

The Florida lawsuit, filed by attorney Ellis Rubin, states: “If Massachusetts recognizes same-gender marriages with all the legal rights, privileges, and immunities of different-sex marriages, Florida should be obliged to recognize the full scope of legal rights bestowed upon them under Massachusetts law.”

Rubin wants the federal court to overturn the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act, which gives states the option of not recognizing another state’s same-sex “marriage” and prevents the federal government from recognizing homosexual “marriage.”

Rubin argues that the Defense of Marriage Act should be overturned under the U.S. Constitution’s full faith and credit clause, which states that “full faith and credit” must be given in each state to the “public acts, records, and judicial proceedings” of every other state.

It is noteworthy that none of the major homosexual activist groups are involved in the lawsuit, and that none of them have announced plans to challenge DOMA. That does not mean, though, that they have been silent.

Instead of federal courts, the two major legal groups — the American Civil Liberties Union and Lambda Legal — have focused their attention on state courts. Both organizations have lawsuits in California, New York and Washington seeking same-sex “marriage” legalization. In addition, the ACLU has filed lawsuits in Maryland and Oregon, while Lambda Legal has filed a lawsuit in New Jersey.

The lawsuit in Indiana was filed by the Indiana Civil Liberties Union, the Indiana branch of the ACLU.

Staver said the strategy on the part of liberal activist groups is simple.

“The strategy is to target certain states that do not have defense of marriage acts where their state supreme courts would be considered more liberal,” he said.

Once a state legalizes same-sex “marriage,” Staver said, “they’ll take those licenses — like in Massachusetts — and then push them in other states, and then begin challenging the states that have defense of marriage acts.”

Joshua Carden, an attorney with the pro-family Alliance Defense Fund, said homosexual activists also have a “back door” strategy — filing for divorce in a state that does not recognize same-sex “marriage.”

“They’ll get in the back door by saying, ‘Well, if we’re getting divorced, why can’t we get married?'” he said.

Rubin’s lawsuit comes at a time when homosexual activist leaders have called on the national same-sex “marriage” movement to slow down. Mary Bonauto, the attorney who successfully argued the same-sex “marriage” case before the Massachusetts high court, told the San Francisco Chronicle in May she had no plans to challenge the Defense of Marriage Act.

“Quite the contrary. I don’t think we should rush into court on this,” said Bonauto, the lead attorney for the Gay and Lesbian Advocates and Defenders (GLAD).

Bonauto argues that instead of rushing, the homosexual community should give Americans time to “wrestle” with the issue.

The ACLU, which is fighting to legalize same-sex “marriage” nationwide, makes a similar argument.

“With time and additional public education, Americans will realize that it is unfair to deny same-sex couples the ability to protect their relationships through marriage,” a statement on the ACLU website reads.

But Staver believes that — even with Bonauto’s warning — homosexual activists are driving a national backlash. Politicians have not responded, Staver noted, but they will “if the people keep on responding in a vigorous way.”
For more information about the national debate over same-sex “marriage,” visit

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  • Michael Foust