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Tuesday, Apr 23, 2019
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Broward judge cancels hearing on same-sex divorce

A Broward County judge who ruled that the state’s ban on same-sex marriage is unconstitutional has canceled a hearing on whether to grant a final divorce to a gay couple.

Attorney Nancy Brodzki says Broward Circuit Judge Dale Cohen wants to allow time for Attorney General Pam Bondi to be formally notified about the case.

The final divorce hearing had been set for Wednesday afternoon.

Heather Brassner is seeking a divorce from Megan Lade after the couple broke up four years ago. They were united in a 2002 civil union in Vermont.

Several Florida courts are courts grappling with challenges to the same-sex marriage ban enacted by Florida voters in 2008. Bondi has appealed the other cases and says the question should be settled nationally by the U.S. Supreme Court.

Last week, a lesbian couple from Tampa learned they will have to wait for the Florida Supreme Court to rule on the constitutionality of the state’s gay marriage ban before the women’s divorce case can be settled.

The high court sent the case back to the 2nd District Court of Appeal, saying the appellate court should first rule on the case of Mariama Changamire Shaw and Keiba Lynn Shaw. The couple were married in Massachusetts and tried to get divorced in Hillsborough County.

Circuit Judge Laurel Lee refused in May to grant the divorce, saying she couldn’t dissolve a marriage that does not legally exist in Florida. The Shaws appealed, arguing the ban on recognizing same-sex marriages was unconstitutional.

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