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

Finishing the Job: how marriage is moving forward nationwide

Now, as momentum surges across the country, it is more important for supporters to do all they can to speak out for the freedom to marry nationwide. Here's what's going on in the 4 other states set up for the freedom to marry soon, plus the 15 where same-sex couples continue to be denied the freedom to marry.

Freedom to Marry launches national TV ad declaring “It’s time” for marriage

Beginning on Sunday, a new national television advertisement released by Freedom to Marry will begin airing on Sunday morning network news shows in Washington, D.C. The 30-second spot declares "It's time" for the freedom to marry.

Florida’s 2nd District Court of Appeals asks FL Supreme Court to rule on marriage

Today, the Second District Court of Appeals in Florida (a state appellate court) urged the Florida Supreme Court to hear and rule on the question of whether same-sex couples can marry in the state.

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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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