Florida

STATUS:

Anti-relationship recognition constitutional amendment; one federal judge and four separate judges in state court have ruled that the amendment is unconstitutional.

WHAT'S HAPPENING:

On August 21, U.S. District Court Judge Robert Hinkle struck down Florida's ban on marriage for same-sex couples, the first federal court victory in Florida.

The decision followed four previous rulings, beginning with the July 17 decision from Chief Circuit Judge Luis Garcia, who ordered the Monroe County Clerk to stop enforcing Florida's anti-marriage constitutional amendment. Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi appealed, which immediately stayed the ruling. Over the next two weeks, two additional judges - Miami-Dade County Circuit Court Judge Sarah Zabel and Broward County Circuit Judge Dale Cohen - also ruled that Florida's marriage ban is unconstitutional. 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

Federal judge in Florida strikes down marriage ban, following 4 state court wins

Today, August 21, U.S. District Court Judge Robert Hinkle ruled in favor of the freedom to marry in Florida, the first federal judge to strike down Florida's ban on marriage for same-sex couples.

Momentum builds in Florida: 4th Florida judge rules in favor of marriage

Yesterday, August 5, Palm Beach County Circuit Judge Diana Lewis ruled in favor of the freedom to marry, making her the fourth state judge in 3 weeks to strike down Florida's ban on marriage for same-sex couples.

In 3 weeks, 3 Florida judges have ruled state marriage ban unconstitutional

Today, August 4, a judge in Broward County, FL state court struck down Florida’s ban on marriage for same-sex couples, the third marriage ruling in three weeks, following a ruling in Monroe County and Miami-Dade County.

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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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