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Couple files federal lawsuit challenging Florida’s ban on same-sex marriage

Thursday, March 6, 2014
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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — A second lawsuit has been filed challenging Florida’s constitutional ban on same-sex marriage, this time in federal court.

FloridaJacksonville attorneys Bill Shepard and Samuel Jacobson filed the suit in U.S. District in Tallahassee last Friday on behlaf of James Domer Brenner and Charles Dean Jones, a same-sex couple married in Canada in 2009 and seeking to have their marriage recognized in their home state of Florida.

Brenner works for the Florida Forest Service and Jones for the state’s Department of Education. The couple resides in Tallahassee.

The lawsuit mirrors other federal court challenges in more than a dozen states, arguing that Florida’s ban on same-sex marriage violates the federal constitutional guarantees of equal protection and due process. The ban was approved by 62 percent of voters in November 2008.

Another lawsuit challenging the ban (Pareto v. Ruvin) was filed Jan. 21, 2014, in Miami-Dade Circuit Court on behalf of Equality Florida Institute and six same-sex couples.

The Jacksonville case is Brenner v. Scott.

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