Lee County says ‘no’ to same-sex marriage licenses

Author: Christina Lusby
Published: Updated:

FORT MYERS, Fla.- After a ruling by the Supreme Court made it legal to obtain same-sex marriage licenses for at least one county in Florida, Lee County is still saying ‘no.’

For same-sex couples, a U.S. Supreme Court ruling for Florida on Friday seemed like a win.

“When a ruling comes down from a federal authority, that ruling would be good across the board,” said Pearl Taylor.

The ruling allowed same-sex couples to get marriage licenses starting January 6.

Lee County Clerk Linda Dogget tells WINK News her office will not issue same-sex marriage licenses saying it would be illegal, as the state ban on same-sex marriage still applies to the county.

“The U.S. Supreme Court upheld an order in Washington County and is really only directed at that county clerk,” said Doggett. “It’s not really my decision. It’s based on the fact that the law really hasn’t changed for Lee County.”

There is confusion over the decision with some saying the federal ruling applies to all Florida counties. However, county attorneys are cautioning the Lee County Clerk of Courts, saying the ruling only applies to Washington County in the Panhandle. They’re asking the clerk’s office to wait until the law changes statewide.

The pastor of Grace Baptist Church in Cape Coral says he’s happy with Lee County’s decision.

“Because Jesus said that from the beginning, God created man and woman, gave man to woman, woman to man and made them one flesh, and that’s what constitutes marriage,” said Pastor Tom Ascol.

Taylor hopes the law in quickly changes in the county. January 13th is her 16th anniversary with her partner Laurie.

“I think sometime during that week we will go where ever we have to to obtain a license,” said Taylor.

Lee County says they are prepared to issue same-sex marriage licenses if the law changes.

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