JACKSONVILLE, FL--(Marketwired - January 08, 2015) - In response to what he considers to be a measure designed to circumvent an order by a Federal Judge to allow same sex marriages in the State of Florida, Jacksonville Trial Attorney Eric S. Block has now opened up his law office in Jacksonville as a place where same sex marriages can be performed at no charge. Mr. Block considers the decision of the Jacksonville Clerk of Courts to immediately close the Duval County Courthouse Ceremonial Chapel to be an example of discrimination in opposition to not only same sex marriage laws, which have been judicially ruled to be protected by the Constitution, but also in violation of the ADA, as the Chapel Room is ADA compliant. The beautiful and what some even call "lavish" Duval County Courthouse was opened June 8, 2012 at a taxpayer cost of over $350 million. According to Block, "This Courthouse was funded by the people of Jacksonville, for the people of Jacksonville, and now it is being closed due to the religious beliefs of one person, the Clerk of Courts, a 'public servant.'"
"I will, for free, conduct weddings for same-sex couples who need the service, as most couples who marry at the Courthouse do so for financial reasons," said Block. "In fact, I will even pay for the license if they can't afford it. This is a horrible, and unlawful decision by the Clerk of the Court, which ironically, denies access to many more heterosexual couples than same-sex couples, simply because of the demographics."
Eric S. Block, a Jacksonville personal injury lawyer and trial attorney, stated, "This kind of blatant discrimination harkens back to the days when de-segregation was ordered, and rather than comply, the city 'fathers' decided to shut down all public pools and bathrooms. This is 2015, and shutting down the Courthouse Wedding Chapel to avoid same-sex weddings is in direct opposition to the order of U.S. Federal District Judge Robert Hinkle." Mr. Block is now talking to Duval County Judges in order to challenge this decision, and if necessary, will file suit to force the reversal of this decision based on Judge Hinkle's ruling. As Block explained, "Discrimination and homophobia is wrong in and of itself, but to be enacted as policy, in violation of the law, especially by a 'public servant' is abhorrent to everything democratic in our society."
Eric S. Block is a personal injury trial lawyer who is well known for his trial experience and record-breaking verdicts since founding his Jacksonville Florida practice in 1994. He is also well known for setting records in personal injury awards, including what is believed to be the largest jury verdict in the history of the American legal system on any knee injury case. Because he concentrates his practice on personal injury and insurance matters, he does not routinely practice family law; however, feels that the offer to perform marriage ceremonies for same-sex couples under the circumstances specified above is legally and morally imperative given the constitutional protections confirmed by the US Federal Courts.
Image Available: http://www.marketwire.com/library/MwGo/2015/1/8/11G029883/Images/TLH_9042-1252086702985.JPG