In the 2012 Presidential election, overall the state of Florida voted for the re-election of President Barack Obama, by a slim margin. His support was primarily centered in the states’ largest and most diverse counties, such as Broward, Miami-Dade, and Orange counties, while in other areas of the state, in particular the far north where there is much more of a solidly white, Christian, and traditionally conservative voter base, the vote was overwhelmingly cast in favor of gop candidate Mitt Romney. For example, in Baker county, along the state’s border with Georgia, 79% of the vote went to Romney, and in Okaloosa county, bordering Alabama, 74% of the vote was cast for Romney. Next door to Okaloosa, almost 76% of voters favored Romney in Santa Rosa county.
As part and parcel of the ingrained belief system of such voters’ in northern Florida is their well documented and very visible hatred for gays, lesbians, and bisexual and transgender people, and their strong feelings about denying them equal rights and protections for their sexual preferences, and in particular the right to marry. This past week, however, Florida
Well, county officials in those areas do comprehend that they have no choice but to issue marriage licenses, but they also believe that they still have the power to make it harder, more time consuming, and likely more expensive, for gay couples to marry, and they are more than willing to also deprive heterosexual couples of long-standing customs and practices solely to punish gay couples: County clerks in these five Florida counties have now stopped ALL marriage ceremonies in their courthouses.
In an amazing statement in which he told the media that he was evoking his personal, religious beliefs to formulate public policy and county procedures, Duval county clerk Ronnie Fussell stated that he personally was against gay marriage, and in order to avoid discriminating against gay people by refusing to conduct gay marriages in county facilities, that they decided that “The easiest way is to not do them at all.”
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|Last year, Fussell's office issued just over 6,000 marriage licenses, and close to 2,000 wedding ceremonies were performed in Duval county court facilities, at a charge of $30.00 each. That would likely mean an additional monetary loss to the county of around $60,000.00 per year. In Baker county, their clerk, Stacie Harvey, attempting to rationalize her actions on a non-discriminatory basis, issued an incredulous|
In my close to three decades practicing law, I was in my share of courthouses all across the state of California, and I have never seen one where a comfortable and convenient area for litigants to fill out paperwork has been a priority, and in the many locations, even available.