Orlando supports overturning gay marriage ban

ORLANDO, Fla. - The Orlando City Council has voted to support overturning Florida's ban on same-sex marriage.

City Council members approved Mayor Buddy Dyer's proposal to file a friend of the court brief in a lawsuit set for a hearing early next month in Miami.

The lawsuit is challenging the state's ban on same-sex marriage, claiming it violates the U.S. Constitution.

Orlando has a domestic partnership registry, and the same-sex partners of city workers are eligible for health insurance from the city.

The vote wasn't unanimous.

"While I acknowledge it's a very important issue. I don't think it's one we should be dealing with here," said District 1 Commissioner Jim Gray, who argued that gay marriage is a state issue, not a city issue.

District 2 Commissioner Tony Ortiz opposed the measure as well, saying he represents a conservative district, but acknowledged he has gay and lesbian friends.

"Our friendship and our love for each other does not stop because of this vote," Ortiz said.

"You can't just say you'll be my friend and vote behind my back," openly gay commissioner Patty Sheehan said. "The bottom line is equality is for everyone."

Orlando is joining with the city of Miami Beach in filing the friend of the court brief.

Equality Florida has encouraged several cities, including Orlando, to write legal briefs to accompany the cases, explaining why lifting the ban is good for the cities.

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