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Recognition of same-sex unions in Florida

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Under current Florida law, same-sex marriages, civil unions, and domestic partnerships are not recognized.[1] Same-sex marriage and civil unions were constitutionally banned on November 6, 2008 with 62% of the vote.[2][3] In Florida, at least 60% of the population must approve a ballot measure for it to become the law.[4] However, according to recent polls, the majority of Floridians support some form of legal recognition for same-sex couples, with 35% supporting only civil unions and an additional 27% supporting full marriage rights. 31% believed that same-sex couples should not receive any form of recognition.[5]

Domestic partnership Edit

On January 19, 2010, Miami passed Benefits for Domestic Partnership couples. Domestic partnership is also allowed in Broward County.[6]

HistoryEdit

1997: The Florida Legislature overwhelmingly adopted the Defense of Marriage Act, which specifically states marriage is the "union between one man and one woman" and bars the state from recognizing same-sex marriages performed in other states. That ruling, however, has not stopped same sex couples from working to change the law in the state.

February 25, 2004: Attorney Ellis Rubin filed suit in Ft. Lauderdale's Broward County Court on behalf of 170 gays and lesbians who seek the right to marry. The suit, brought against Broward County Clerk Howard Forman is, according to Ft. Lauderdale's NBC news affiliate, "believed to be the first formal legal challenge to the state law specifying that marriage licenses be issued only to parties consisting of one male and one female." Meanwhile in Tampa, Mayor Pam Iorio signed an order on March 18 which will extend health benefits, effective next year, to domestic partners of city employees, a legal designation that could include same-sex couples. The next day, eight same sex couples, including UU minister the Rev. Gail Gesenhainer and her partner, Celeste DeRoche, went to Orlando City Hall and requested licenses to be married. Michelle Gervy, a deputy clerk at the Orange County Courthouse, handed the couples a copy of the state statute, and informed the couples that licenses could not be issued. The couples indicated that they wanted to raise awareness of marriage as a matter of civil rights, and several participated later in the day in a union ceremony sponsored by the First Unitarian Church of Orlando. Earlier that week, the city of Key West passed a resolution in support of same sex marriage, however the move was a symbolic one, since Florida law only permits counties to issue marriage licenses. And in Key West organizers of a new White Ribbon Campaign for equality launched an effort on March 16 at the Key West City Commission meeting to emphasize the discrepancy between simultaneously extolling freedom and banning gay marriages.

March 22, 2004: Gay and lesbian couples gathered in Gaineseville at the Alachua County Courthouse and elsewhere around the state as they attempted to obtain marriage licenses and were turned away. Despite the denial of licenses to same sex couples, organizers of efforts to elevate the attention of the state toward equality for all its citizens, insist that the issue will not go away, and that couples and clergy will continue to make public statements and organize public action to call attention to this issue.

Other polls Edit

March 2004 – Miami Herald and St. Petersburg Times Poll – 65% Oppose Same-Sex Marriage, Majority Support Civil Unions.
A poll conducted by The Miami Herald and St. Petersburg Times found that 65% of Floridians oppose same-sex marriage, while 27% are supportive and 8% are undecided. A majority, however, believe that same-sex couples should have equal rights as marries heterosexual couples. Only 41% are supportive of President Bush’s push for a constitutional ban on same-sex marriage.

July 2004 – Florida Times-Union and South Florida Sun-Sentinel Poll –
Only 2% Name Same-Sex Marriage As Most Important Issue In Presidential Election of 2004.
In a survey conducted by The Florida Times-Union and the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, 600 likely Florida voters were asked to name the most important issue determining their vote for president. Only 2% named same-sex marriage as their biggest concern, while 26% said it was jobs and the economy, 16% said the situation in Iraq, and 15% said the war on terrorism

See also Edit

References Edit

  1. Sunshine: Florida Statutes Online
  2. Florida, Arizona ban gay marriage
  3. http://web.archive.org/web/20081108031145/http://www.365gay.com/news/florida-arkansas-voters-ok-anti-gay-ballot-measures/
  4. [1]
  5. New Poll: Majority of FL OK with Gay Adoption and Relationships
  6. http://www.miamiherald.com/news/miami-dade/story/1434713.html


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Same-sex unions in the United States


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