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Fla. AG says she’s just doing her job when she marginalizes gay couples

Tuesday, June 3, 2014
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi is firing back at critics who blasted her assertion in court documents last week that same-sex marriage would “impose significant public harm,” saying she is just doing her job.

Attorney General Pam Bondi (R-Fla.)

Attorney General Pam Bondi (R-Fla.)

In a statement issued late Monday, Bondi said it is her “duty to protect Florida from the ‘harm’ of a federal injunction overriding the will of Florida voters.”

“I take exception to those who have sought to manipulate our brief, trying to make it something it is not. The brief does not argue for or against same sex marriage as a matter of policy, wisdom, or fairness,” she said.

Bondi, who is twice divorced, suggested in a brief defending the state’s same-sex marriage ban that gay and lesbian couples don’t create stable or enduring homes.

“Florida’s marriage laws,” Bondi wrote in the court filing, “have a close, direct, and rational relationship to society’s legitimate interest in increasing the likelihood that children will be born to and raised by the mothers and fathers who produced them in stable and enduring family units.”

Bondi’s brief was filed in response to a lawsuit brought by eight same-sex couples and the American Civil Liberties Union, arguing that Florida is discriminating against them by not recognizing same-sex marriages performed in states where they are legal.

Bondi said Monday that defending the wishes of the voters who enacted Florida’s marriage amendment necessarily requires her “to make good faith legal arguments.”

To date, attorneys general in at least six statesVirginia, Pennsylvania, California, Illinois, Oregon and Nevada — have declined to defend their state’s same-sex marriage bans, agreeing with recent federal court rulings that they violate the U.S. Constitution, a position supported by U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder.

Case archives: Brenner v. Scott.

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