"Same-sex couples and their families can't wait any longer for the freedom and dignity of marriage, and the U.S. Supreme Court has let the freedom to marry stand in all the cases before them."
Supreme Court refusal to hear appeals cases regarding same sex marriage, stemming from lower courts, means that same sex couples in 11 states will now have the right to get married. Because of the refusal to hear the cases, the lower court rulings stand.
The states are: Utah, Oklahoma, Kansas, Wyoming, Colorado, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, West Virginia, Indiana and Wisconsin.
The high court's decision also strengthens the chances that Florida's same sex couples will soon have the right to say "I do" and receive all the legal rights and responsibilities that come with that promise.
"Many couples in Wilton Manors, and throughout Florida, including me and my partner, Eric, who have been together for many years, see this decision by the Supreme Court as a beacon of light at the end of the tunnel for Florida," said Gary Resnick, Mayor of Wilton Manors. "Marriage equality is such an important issue for so many people in our community. It is only a matter of time before Florida recognizes the rights of same sex couples and joins the other 30 states."
Four courts in Florida, including a federal district court, have struck down Florida's ban.
In August, a state appeals court refused a request by Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi to hold off on deciding the constitutionality of Florida's gay marriage ban until after the issue was decided by the Supreme Court.
Kevin Cathcart, Executive Director of Lambda Legal, which fought in favor of same sex couples in Indiana and Virginia, wrote that the ruling was exciting and unexpected.
"Lambda Legal and our co-counsel are thrilled that we won the freedom to marry for couples in Virginia and Indiana, and also to have marriage recognized for couples in those states who got legally married in other states. This is so important for couples like Amy Sandler and Niki Quasney from Indiana. Niki is battling Stage IV ovarian cancer, and the family needs the dignity, comfort, and protections of marriage as they fight to be together."
Continued Cathcart, "Same-sex couples and their families can't wait any longer for the freedom and dignity of marriage, and the U.S. Supreme Court has let the freedom to marry stand in all the cases before them."
As a result of the 2010 US Census, the City of Wilton Manors was named the "Second gayest City" in the United States. With a large percentage of the population identifying as gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender, Wilton Manors has been recognized nationally and internationally as one of the most progressive places to live, work and play for many years.
The original rainbow flag, called the Freedom Flag, was devised by Gilbert Baker in 1978. The design has undergone several revisions since its debut with 8 colored stripes, and today the most common variant consists of 6 stripes: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and violet.
Picture of Gilbert Baker's original Freedom Flag showing the meaning of the 8 colors.