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Lawyers Who Fought For Same-Sex Couples Now Fighting Florida To Get Paid

Pam Bondi
State of Florida

Jacksonville lawyers for same-sex couples who challenged Florida’s now-defunct gay-marriage ban are fighting to get the state to pay their legal fees.

The attorneys say the state owes them hundreds of thousands of dollars.

When a Florida judge ruled it’s unconstitutional to prevent same-sex couples from marrying, the state of Florida appealed. Jacksonville lawyer Elizabeth White was among those who fought back on behalf of several same-sex couples.

“It required a great deal of work,” White said, “particularly when they sought a stay in the United States Supreme Court. It was over the holidays. I don’t even think I saw Christmas this year, or New Year’s for that matter.”

White says similar cases and the historical significance of the case make her confident Florida will be required to pay. But last week, Attorney General Pam Bondi said the state shouldn’t have to because it’s dropping its appeal. But that’s only after the US Supreme Court struck down gay-marriage bans nationwide. Circuit Judge Robert Hinkle, who originally ruled in the couples’ favor, will have the final say on whether the lawyers are entitled to their fees.

Jessica Palombo supervises local news gathering and production, podcasts and web editorial content for WJCT News, ADAPT and Jacksonville Today. She is an award-winning writer and journalist with bylines including NPR, Experience Magazine, and The Gainesville Sun. She has a master’s degree in broadcast and digital journalism from Syracuse University and is an alumna of the University of Florida. A nearly lifelong resident of Jacksonville, she considers herself lucky to be raising her own children in her hometown. Follow Jessica Palombo on Twitter: @JaxJessicaP