ACLU's Florida celebrates 'freedom to marry'

OPINION: ACLU of Florida Executive Director Howard Simon issues statement

"This is a historic win for couples in Florida and across the country. Six months ago, the freedom for all to marry was secured in Florida when a federal judge issued a ruling in our case that struck down Florida's ban on marriages for couples of the same sex. Today's historic ruling means that victory – and similar court victories across the country -- will stand and that the remaining states will all be barred from refusing to issue marriage license to loving and committed same-sex couples.

"The Supreme Court has affirmed what a majority of Floridians and indeed all Americans have come to understand: that the freedom to marry is a precious and fundamental right that we all share under the Constitution, and that no family should be denied that. We are proud of our colleagues from the two ACLU lawsuits that were among the cases that brought about this decision.  But more importantly, we are thrilled for the hundreds of thousands of couples and their families for whom this victory has been decades in the making.

"As we celebrate this day and look forward to this decision being swiftly implemented nationwide, we must prepare to turn the momentum of this moment to dismantling the remaining barriers to full equality for LGBT citizens. In Florida, that means making sure that LGBT Floridians are also protected in civil rights laws against workplace and housing discrimination and ensure that the civil rights of transgender Floridians are also protected by civil rights laws.  In addition, we must prevent the enactment of laws that would give license to discriminate against LGBT people.

"No American family should be denied the full rights and security promised by our country under law simply because of who they are. Today's ruling brings us one big step closer to securing full equality for all Americans."