News (USA)

Fla. judge vacates same-sex marriage ruling on legal technicality

Fla. judge vacates same-sex marriage ruling on legal technicality

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — A Broward County judge, who last month struck down Florida’s ban on same-sex marriage, vacated his own ruling Thursday on a legal technicality.

Broward-County-FLThe Miami Herald reports that Circuit Court Judge Dale Cohen vacated his decision because a petitioner in the case “failed to comply with (state law)” and notify “the Office of the Attorney General of these proceedings by either registered or certified mail.”

Cohen ruled on August 4 that in a case related to a 2002 civil union in Vermont involving Heather Brassner and Megan Lade. The two separated and Brassner was seeking a divorce so she can remarry, but Florida, where Brassner has lived for 14 years, does not recognize same-sex marriages or civil unions.

Brassner’s attorney, Nancy Brodzki, admitted she made a mistake. “You don’t usually have to notify the attorney general for a divorce,” she said.

Cohen is one of four Florida judges to rule against the state’s same-sex marriage ban, joining judges in Monroe and Miami-Dade county who heard cases by couples seeking the right to marry, and a Palm Beach County judge who ruled in a probate case.

A federal court judge in Tallahassee has also declared the ban unconstitutional. All rulings have been stayed pending appeal by the state.

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