Tallahasseans Jim Brenner (left) and Chuck Jones are among the dozens of plaintiffs around the country highlighted in a Freedom for All Americans blogFreedom for All Americans blog celebrating the second anniversary of the seminal U.S. Supreme Court decision that cemented the ability of gays and lesbians to marry.
The ruling came more than a year after a federal judge in Florida overturned the state’s voter-approved ban on gay same-sex marriage.
Brenner and Jones, who’ve been together for nearly three decades and were married in Canada, filed the initial lawsuit against the state challenging the gay marriage prohibition. Brenner and Jones later asked Stephen Schlairat and Ozzie Russ, a gay Washington County couple, to join the lawsuit.
The American Civil Liberties Union also filed a challenge on behalf of eight couples and other plaintiffs, and the cases were consolidated. Two of those couples are also featured in the Freedom for All Americans post.
In August 2014, Hinkle ruled that the state’s prohibition against gay marriage was unconstitutional, but he put a stay on his decision until January 2015, when same-sex marriages became legal in Florida.
Six months later, the U.S. Supreme Court cemented Hinkle’s ruling in a case known as Obergefell v. Hodges. The high court decided on June 26, 2015 — in a case dealing with other states — that same-sex couples have a fundamental right to marry.