Starting the year off right, on January 1, U.S. District Judge Robert Hinkle issued an order that makes it clear that ALL Florida clerks must issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples starting next week. (The stay on his earlier ruling finding the state's discriminatory marriage ban unconstitutional expires at the end of the day Monday.)
In the view of equality advocates, the breadth of Judge Hinkle's ruling has been clear from the start--it applies to the whole state. However, state officials, led by anti-gay Florida AG Pam Bondi, have continued to put up roadblocks, even after The 11th Circuit and the U.S. Supreme Court rejected their appeals for a continued stay. We hope this puts a final end to their delay tactics.
Appropriately, The Tampa Bay Times declared Pam Bondi a "modern-day Anita Bryant" (remember her?) and Florida's "Loser of 2014." Read that quote in context here.
At the other end of the spectrum, The Salt Lake Tribune named the six plaintiffs in the Utah marriage case "Utahns of the Year." The paper wrote: "Because of these Utah plaintiffs — who bravely made public their most private lives — the state took an unlikely position among the vanguard in the biggest civil-rights movement of the day. Forever, their names will be associated with a tidal wave of change that swept the country."
Across the Atlantic, the kilts came out and same-sex couples officially began marrying in Scotland.
Last but not least, the U.S. Supreme Court justices are meeting privately on January 9th to review the marriage equality appeals before them. If they decide to take up one of the cases, there could be a ruling from them as early as June 2015. Which means the year is already off to an exciting start: Stay tuned!