(West Palm Beach, Florida) — At this evening’s meeting, West Palm Beach City Commissioners joined the statewide marriage equality debate by unanimously voting to sign on to court briefs opposing Florida’s constitutional ban on same-sex-marriage. The action was taken at the request of the Palm Beach County Human Rights Council, a local non-profit organization dedicated to ending discrimination based on sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression.
The first brief, initially filed by the cities of Miami Beach and Orlando in June, argues that in addition to bringing legal, financial and psychological harm to families, marriage inequality makes it difficult for the governments to recruit talented employees and hurts tourism.
Similar briefs in two additional marriage equality cases are set to be filed next month
“There should be no room in the Florida Constitution for the discriminatory marriage ban,” said Palm Beach County Human Rights Council President Rand Hoch. “By signing on to the brief, the West Palm Beach City Commission is acknowledging that the marriage ban is harmful to Floridians and is detrimental to the efficiency and effectiveness of West Palm Beach as a public employer.”
Today’s vote puts the city on the opposite side of a legal battle in which Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi continues to defend the marriage ban in several pending appeals in state and federal courts.
While several state attorneys general across the nation have declined to spend taxpayer dollars to defend the marriage bans which have been declared unconstitutional, Bondi remains steadfast in her efforts to use public funds to preserve the state’s discriminatory ban on same-sex marriages.
Palm Beach, Broward and Orange Counties, the cities of Gainesville, St. Petersburg, Tampa and Wilton Manors and the Village of Biscayne Park have already joined the cities of Miami Beach and Orlando in signing on to the initial brief.