Equality Florida weighs in on gay marriage ruling

Published On: Jun 26 2013 04:10:12 PM EDT
Updated On: Jun 26 2013 06:01:06 PM EDT

The U.S. Supreme Court's ruling deeming the Defense of Marriage Act unconstitutional prompts cheers outside the court in Washington, but the jubilation was subdued at Equality Florida's offices in Orlando.

ORLANDO, Fla. -

The U.S. Supreme Court's ruling on Thursday, which ruled the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) unconstitutional prompted cheers outside the court in Washington, D.C., but the jubilation was subdued at Equality Florida's offices in Orlando.

The staff here is fighting to overturn the ban on same-sex marriage in the state of Florida.

"Today's rulings are a major step forward for the country," said Executive Director Nadine Smith. "For Floridians they fall short of justice and are more than anything a call to action."

Smith, whose marriage to her partner is not recognized by the state of Florida, said opinions on whether people of the same sex should be able to marry in Florida has dramatically changed since 2008. She cited recent polls that show a majority approve of a change in the law, and called for supporters of the movement to engage.

"Today, the Supreme Court has said we can go to states like Minnesota or Iowa and get married, but we return and we are strangers in our home state," she said.

Danny Humphress and Enrique De La Torre of Orlando were legally married in Washington, D.C., in 2010, but their marriage is not recognized by the State of Florida. They said Wednesday's ruling should help them complete their taxes more easily and fairly.

"Just being able to file taxes jointly -- we're taxed at a higher rate than married couples in the same situation," Humphress said. "Just because our marriage wasn't recognized by the federal government until today."

Those opposed to same-sex marriage are getting ready for their own campaign.

The Liberty Counsel, a Christian-based legal organization, told Local 6 they're disappointed in the high court's decision. Spokesman Stephen Guschov said he fears the court is becoming "politicized" and "losing legitimacy."

His organization is planning a rally in front of the federal courthouse in Orlando on Sunday afternoon, called, "Fortnight to Freedom."

A rally for those who support same sex marriage in the state of Florida is scheduled for Thursday evening at Lake Eola in Orlando.

On July 1, Equality Florida will host a statewide Tele-Town Hall Meeting, where residents can call inand ask questions to lawyers and other professionals about legal options for their relationship.

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