When a federal judge declared same-sex marriage legal in Florida last year, it should have changed the way Bruce Stone does his job. The estate-planning lawyer had for years helped gay couples patch together legal documents to try to approximate some of the protections enjoyed by heterosexual spouses.
But with the Supreme Court set to decide later this year whether that court decision and others ought to stand, Stone isn’t taking any chances. He is still writing up power-of-attorney forms and setting up trusts out of state, and he has some stark advice for his gay clients: “Do not get married here in Florida.”
On Tuesday, the Supreme Court is set to hear arguments on whether gay couples have a constitutional right to get married. But if the court rules against that right, the ability to decide reverts to the states, and Florida and others might just slam the door.
Gay rights advocates have publicly proclaimed their confidence that the court will go their way, and many opponents reluctantly agree. They think the court has telegraphed its intention to establish a broad new legal right by allowing marriages to proceed in several states where the right is contested.
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