Perhaps the greatest wedding gift of all is how silent all the homophobes in Florida suddenly seem to have gotten. Marriage started across the state this morning (and in a few places Monday night) and all of a sudden the Pam Bondis of the world don’t seem to have anything to say.
It wasn’t long ago that the bigots were making all kinds of noise about “sanctity” and “tradition” and “man and woman.” But with hundreds of gay and lesbian couples blissfully getting married, those talking points don’t really seem to have the weight they once did. Now Pam Bondi’s simply saying that she won’t stand in the way, and would-be GOP presidential candidate is Jeb Bush is urging respect. This is the political equivalent of a villain twirling their mustache unhappily and slinking back under a rock.
One of the only major antigay groups still making any noise — and they’re really not even that “major” — is Liberty Counsel, which is filing some bothersome lawsuits against state officials who involve themselves with marriage equality. This is basically an intimidation tactic, since everyone knows they won’t win any of those lawsuits. And they can’t possibly sustain this dumb tactic, since now that marriage has begun in earnest, there are more officials officiating than they can possibly sue.
But let’s not focus on our enemies in a time of celebration. Let’s just bask in the happiness of the gay couples getting married today. Several towns held or plan to hold mass weddings — Fort Lauderdale’s was at 3am this morning.
In Miami, marriages were allowed to start on Monday afternoon. “In the big picture, does it really matter whether or not I lift the stay or leave it until tomorrow?” a judge asked.
We’re now up to 36 states with the freedom to marry, and around 70 percent of the U.S. population. Wedding venues, caterers, and planners are already seeing a surge in activity — one restaurant owner says he’s seeing a 35 to 40 percent bump in business.
Of course, it doesn’t end here. Florida’s marriage cases are continuing to mosey slowly through state and federal court. Ultimately, we the U.S. Supreme Court is likely to step in and tell Liberty Counsel to stuff a sock in it once and for all. Fortunately, that may be exactly what happens very soon: SCOTUS meets on Friday of this week to decide whether to take up a marriage case in the next few months.