If you’re planning a wedding, you might want to check the invite list and make sure Mat Staver and Horatio Mihet aren’t on it. They’re two of the bigwigs at Liberty Counsel, an Orlando law firm that’s doing everything in its power to mess up the wedding plans of the state’s queer grooms and brides.
Let’s be absolutely clear: marriage is starting on Tuesday in Florida. But Liberty Counsel and its unpleasant cronies are telling anyone who will listen that marriage is still banned, and anyone who lets gay and lesbian couples get married is breaking the law. Fortunately, very few people are listening.
Last week, Liberty Counsel sued a few officials who expressed a willingness to issue licences to LGBTs. One of those cases has already been thrown out of court, and the others will be following in short order. But in the mean time, the group’s making itself a real pain in the neck by promising to file more lawsuits against more officials. Essentially, they’re trying to intimidate clerks into refusing to issue licenses by threatening them with weak lawsuits.
And they’re not the only ones raining on your wedding day. Over a dozen clerks have ended courthouse weddings, essentially telling gay and lesbian couples “we don’t care if you get married, we just don’t want to have to look at it, because you’re so gross, yuck.” This is somewhat different from the proper sentiment to offer on the occasion of someone’s wedding, which is “congratulations.”
So, what’s next? A bunch of boring legal stuff that’ll take a few weeks, maybe a few months. At some point another court will rule on marriage — or maybe several. This is uncharted territory, and it’s impossible to predict exactly how it’ll go. Ultimately, it’s going to come down to the Supreme Court, but until further notice, Florida, go ahead and get married. Liberty Counsel may be trying to ruin your day, but you can ruin theirs simply by living well.