Florida

Florida

Grimsley and Albu v. Scott

What's Happening:

On March 13, 2014, the American Civil Liberties Union of Florida filed a federal lawsuit on behalf of SAVE, an LGBT organization in Miami and eight married same-sex couples seeking respect for their marriages legally performed in other states.

Case Background:

The lead plaintiffs are Sloan Grimsley and Joyce Albu, who work as a firefighter and a consultant assisting parents of children with developmental disorders, respectively. The women have been together for nine years, married in New York in 2011, and are raising a 2-year-old child together.

"I’m proud of the work that I do protecting my community, but the law in Florida doesn’t let me protect my own family," Grimsley explained. "We just want the peace of mind of knowing that those vows we took to care for one another aren’t dependent on where we are."

Brenner v. Scott

What's Happening:

On March 6, 2014, private lawyers filed a federal lawsuit on behalf of a same-sex couple who married in Canada and now live in Tallahassee. The couple is seeking legal respect in Florida for their marriage license, and have named Gov. Rick Scott and FL Attorney General Bondi in their lawsuit.

Case Background:

The plaintiffs are James Brenner and Charles Jones, who married in Canada in September 2009 and have been together since 1988. Brenner works for the Florida Forest Service and Jones is employed by the state's Department of Education.

Huntsman v. Heavilin

What's Happening:

On April 2, 2014, private lawyers filed a lawsuit on behalf of a same-sex couple seeking to marry in Florida. The men, who live and work in Key West, have been together for over a decade, and when they were denied a marriage license in Monroe County, they filed their case.

Case Background:

The plaintiffs are Aaron Huntsman and William Lee Jones, who are celebrating their 11th anniversary this year. Upon filing their case, the men said, "I really feel Monroe County — Key West — if it's going to be done anywhere, it’s going to be done here. We have a history. It's a little more open. We’re going to change it here."

Pareto v. Ruvin

What's Happening:

On January 21, 2014, the National Center for Lesbian Rights and the Equality Florida Institute filed a lawsuit in state court with federal claims on behalf of six same-sex couples seeking the freedom to marry in Florida. The lawsuit argues that laws in Florida that restrict marriage to different-sex couples violate the United States Constitution's commitment to equal protection under the law. 

Case Background:

The plaintiffs hail from Miami and the surrounding area. They include: Catherina Pareto and Karla Arguello, together for 14 years and raising a young son; Dr. Juan Carlos Rodriguez and David Price, together for 18 years and raising young twins; Vanessa and Melanie Alenier, together for 8 years and raising a child; Todd and Jeff Delmay, together for 11 years and raising a young son; Summer Greene and Pamela Faerber, grandparents who have been together for 25 years; and Don Price Johnston and Jorge Isaias Diaz, who recently got engaged. 

Shaw v. Shaw

What's Happening:

On March 17, 2014, a same-sex couple filed a petition for the dissolution of their marriage in Florida. The petition requests recognition for their out-of-state marriage for the purpose of filing the divorce and, additionally, challenges the constitutionality of Florida’s ban on same-sex couples from marrying. A brief hearing occurred on March 27, with additional argument scheduled for April 22. 

Case Background:

The uncontested divorce petition was filed in Hillsborough County, Florida Circuit Court on behalf of Mariama Shaw and Keiba Shaw, who married in Massachusetts. Under Florida law, it is unclear whether the plaintiffs' out-of-state marriage can be terminated, because Florida does not respect marriages between same-sex couples.

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