Florida

STATUS:

Anti-relationship recognition constitutional amendment; two separate judges have ruled that the amendment is unconstitutional - in Monroe County and Miami-Dade County. 

WHAT'S HAPPENING:

On July 17, Chief Circuit Judge Luis Garcia struck down Florida's ban on marriage for same-sex couples in state court, ordering the Monroe County Clerk to stop enforcing Florida's anti-marriage constitutional amendment, saying that marriage licenses should begin being issued in Monroe County on July 22. Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi appealed, which immediately stayed the ruling.

Just over one week later, Miami-Dade County Circuit Court Judge Sarah Zabel also ruled that Florida's marriage ban is unconstitutional. Her ruling was also immediately appealed and stayed. Both decisions will now be considered by the Florida 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals . Read more about marriage litigation in Florida.

As the cases make their way up through the courts, Floridians across the state will continue to do the work of having conversations about why marriage matters and creating a climate for victory.

HISTORY:

In 2008, anti-gay forces in Florida pushed through an anti-marriage constitutional amendment that excluded same-sex couples from marriage and prohibited same-sex couples from attaining any form of legal family status.

Several jurisdictions, including Miami, Orlando, and Tampa, have passed protections for domestic partners.

POLLING DATA: 

Voters in Florida are moving on marriage, with a majority of voters (57%) who support the freedom to marry. (Public Religion Research Institute, July 2014)

GROUPS ACTIVELY WORKING ON MARRIAGE:

  • Equality Florida is a statewide education and advocacy organization dedicated to eliminating discrimination based on sexual orientation, race, gender and class.
  • ACLU of Florida is the state affiliate of the American Civil Liberties Union.
  • Freedom to Marry is the campaign to win marriage for same-sex couples nationwide. 

NUMBER OF SAME-SEX COUPLES:

According to The Williams Institute's analysis of the 2010 U.S. Census, 48,496 same-sex couples are living in Florida, representing 6.5 same-sex couples per 1,000 households.

Blog Posts Related to Florida

Second Florida judge rules in state’s marriage ban unconstitutional

Today, July 25, a Florida judge struck down the state's marriage ban as unconstitutional in Miami-Dade County, just over one week after a similar ruling was announced in Monroe County.

Photos: 7,000+ Floridians urge Attorney General to drop appeal of marriage ruling

This morning, July 21, Equality Florida delivered more than 7,000 petitions signed by Florida residents urging Attorney General Pam Bondi and Governor Rick Perry to drop their appeal of the state's constitutional amendment that restricts marriage to different-sex couples.

Florida judge rules in favor of the freedom to marry, striking down marriage ban

Today, July 17, a state judge struck down Florida’s ban on marriage for same-sex couples, marking the 25th consecutive ruling in favor of the freedom to marry (with no rulings against) since June 2013.

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Resources Related to Florida

Census 2010: More Gay Parents Raising Children in South

UCLA demographers analyzing 2010 Census Bureau data have found that same-sex couples raising children are more common in the South than in any other region in the United States.

Southern Poverty Law Center: 18 Anti-Gay Groups and Their Propaganda

The Southern Poverty Law Center provides a detailed listing of anti-gay groups know for their dangerous propaganda aimed at lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.

District Court Affirms Overturning Florida Gay Adoption Ban

The Florida Third District Court of Appeal decision affirming a circuit court ruling that found a law banning gay and lesbian people from adopting children unconstitutional.

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