Statement on Behalf of the Florida Court Clerks & Comptrollers Executive Director Kenneth A. Kent Regarding Judge Hinkle’s Clarification Order
January 2, 2015
Yulee, Nassau County, Florida
For immediate release:
Late yesterday, Federal Judge Robert Hinkle provided clarification that clerks across Florida are henceforth compelled to issue marriage licenses to same-gender couples.
"For as long as anyone can remember, legally-eligible couples making application for either a license to marry or requesting that the clerk's office perform a civil wedding ceremony have been provided those services with dignity, professionalism and utmost courtesy in Nassau County. I believe that as a constitutional officer and as an officer of the court, it is my duty to uphold both the letter and the spirit of the law, to serve every citizen who lawfully seeks our services," says Clerk of the Circuit Court & Comptroller John A. Crawford.
Judge Hinkle's order states that "the Constitution requires all clerks to issue marriage licenses to all applicants, regardless of gender. Accordingly, this office will begin issuing licenses pursuant to that order starting next Tuesday, January 6. As always, civil wedding ceremonies will continue to be available upon request," according to Clerk of the Courts, John Crawford.
Please find additional information below.
Statement on Behalf of the Florida Court Clerks & Comptrollers Executive Director Kenneth A. Kent Regarding Judge Hinkle’s Clarification Order.
Tallahassee, Fla. – The Florida Court Clerks & Comptrollers today issued the following statement attributed to its Executive Director Kenneth A. Kent regarding Judge Hinkle’s order clarifying that his previous order prohibiting the enforcement of same-gender marriage applies to all Clerks of Court and County Judges statewide.
“We would like to thank Judge Hinkle today for his order, and for providing guidance that Clerks throughout the state have sought in order to gain clarity as to their responsibility and duty in this matter.
“Given this development, we are strongly encouraging all Clerks to follow this clarification order and to begin issuing marriage licenses to same-gender couples on January 6, 2015.
“Given that Judge Hinkle, in this order, recognized that ‘reasonable people could debate who’ his original injunction bound, we are glad that we asked for this clarification to ensure that all of Florida's Clerks know what they are legally allowed to do as constitutional officers. All Clerks felt it their duty to move forward based on judicial authority, rather than on conflicting individual legal opinions which provided no protection as to the Clerks performance of the duty the law requires.”