WINNERS: Sloan Grimsley and Joan Albu were two of the plaintiffs in the Florida marriage case. Married in New York, the couple feared denial of benefits should something happen to Grimsley, a firefighter, because Florida didn't recognize their marriage.
The U.S. Supreme Court refused Friday to extend a stay
of a court ruling invalidating the ban on same-sex marriage in Florida,
which means marriages will begin in that state Jan. 6. Florida officials apparently will mount a last-ditch effort to prevent licenses from being issued in all counties on the technicality of pending state court action.
The news is the growing number. Florida becomes the 36th state
in which same-sex marriage will be legal — 25 by court decision, eight by legislation and three by popular vote. Arkansas is among seven states where courts have ruled that the ban is unconstitutional, but where the cases (both state and federal in Arkansas) remain on appeal.
The inexorable rise in the numbers is one factor for optimism that the Arkansas Supreme Court
ultimately will uphold Judge Chris Piazza's
ruling that struck down the Arkansas ban.