Main | Tuesday, December 23, 2014

FLORIDA: State Attorney Won't Charge Clerks In Orange & Osceola Counties

Via the Orlando Sentinel:
In a move that could clear the way for same-sex couples to get married in Orange and Osceola counties in two weeks, State Attorney Jeff Ashton on Tuesday announced that he will not prosecute court clerks if they issue marriage licenses to gay and lesbian couples on Jan. 6 or after. The threat of prosecution had appeared to be the last major obstacle to same-sex couples getting married here. But a spokesman for Orange County Clerk Tiffany Moore Russell said that Ashton's decision has not changed her position. She still has no plans to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples. Over the past two weeks, Osceola County Clerk Armando Ramirez has equivocated, at times saying that, yes, he would issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples on Jan. 6 and at others that he would not. On Tuesday afternoon he said Ashton's decision took the pressure off him. "Then I think because of that, there is no reason not to proceed issuing marriage licenses one minute after midnight Jan. 6," Ramirez said.
Florida has 20 judicial circuit districts and Ashton in the prosecutor for the Ninth Circuit. If his name seems familiar, that's probably because he was the co-prosecutor in the case of Casey Anthony, the Orlando woman whose trial for murdering her daughter became a social media sensation.

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