Florida

STATUS:

Anti-relationship recognition constitutional amendment; a judge has ruled that the amendment is unconstitutional. The ruling is scheduled to take effect in Monroe County on July 22.  

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. For now, the ruling only applies to Monroe County and does not require the state of Florida to respect the marriages of same-sex couples legally performed in other states.

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 (47%) who support the freedom to Marry. Among Floridians who are under the age of 45 there’s 58/34 support for marriage. (Public Policy Polling, January 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

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.

New Video: Mayors across Florida speak out for the freedom to marry

In Florida, Mayors for the Freedom to Marry include elected officials representing Orlando, Key West, St. Petersburg, Lake Worth, and Miami Beach, with a number of new mayors coming aboard this month.

Orlando Mayor calls for the freedom to marry in FL in State of the City address

Last week, in his State of the City address, Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer called for the freedom to marry in Florida while championing Orlando's commitment to protecting same-sex couples and providing a safe and welcoming place for all families.

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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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