Same-sex marriage in Florida is legal statewide from January 6, 2015, as a result of Brenner v. Scott, the lead case on the issue. In this case, a U.S. district court ruled the state's same-sex marriage ban unconstitutional on August 21, 2014. The order was stayed temporarily; state attempts at extending the stay failed, with theU.S. Supreme Court denying further extension on December 19, 2014. With the stay expired, the case is still under appeal.

Furthermore, a state court ruling in Pareto v. Ruvin allowed same-sex couples to obtain marriage licenses in Miami-Dade County on the afternoon of January 5, 2015. In another state case challenging the state's denial of marriage rights to same-sex, a Monroe County court in Huntsman v. Heavilin stayed enforcement of its decision pending appeal and the stay expired on January 6, 2015. Other lawsuits in state court have sought recognition of an individual same-sex marriage with varying results.

The state banned same-sex marriage by statute in 1977 and added a prohibition on the recognition of marriages from other jurisdictions in 1997. Voters approved an amendment that banned both same-sex marriage and civil unions on 2008.

Statutory ban Edit

In 1977, the state enacted legislation banning same-sex marriage.[1] State Senator Curtis Peterson, sponsor of the legislation, said it was designed to say "we are tired of you and wish you would go back in the closet."[2]

In 1997, the Florida Legislature overwhelmingly adopted its own Defense of Marriage Act, which states marriage is the "union between one man and one woman" and bars the state from recognizing same-sex marriages performed in other states. Governor Lawton Chiles said: "I believe that, by and large, most Floridians are tolerant and will one day come to view a broader range of domestic partnerships as an acceptable part of life. But, that is not the case today." The bill became law without his signature.[3]

Constitutional amendment Edit

On November 4, 2008, voters approved Florida Amendment 2, a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage and civil unions in the state. Passage required approval by 60% of the voters and 62% of voters did so.[4]

In 2013, Get Engaged and Equal Marriage Florida were formed, two organizations dedicated to overturning the constitutional amendment in the 2014 elections.[5][6]


Two courts have ordered state officials to recognize a specific marriage established outside of Florida, a federal court in Brenner v. Scott[7] and a state court in Estate of Bangor.[8]

References Edit

  1. "Askew signs bill to ban gay marriage", June 9, 1977. Retrieved on February 15, 2013. 
  2. "New Florida Laws Prohibit Same-Sex Marriage, Adoption", June 8, 1977. Retrieved on February 15, 2013. 
  3. Michael J. Kamotz, "For Better or For Worse: A Critical Analysis of Florida's Defense of Marriage Act," Florida State University Law Review, III. C., Vol. 25, No. 2 (Winter 1998). Retrieved February 3, 2014
  4. Brunn, et al, eds., Stanley D. (2011). Atlas of the 2008 Elections. Rowman & Littlefield, 258. 
  5. "Equality Florida, Freedom to Marry launch 'Get Engaged' effort to repeal state's gay-marriage ban", The Miami Herald, June 19, 2013. 
  6. "Brito files to begin statewide petition drive, hoping to end Florida's gay-marriage ban in 2014", The Miami Herald, June 21, 2013. 
  7. "Same-sex marriage ban struck down in Florida federal court", Sun-Sentinel, August 21, 2014. Retrieved on August 21, 2014. 
  8. "Palm Beach County judge declares gay marriage ban unconstitutional", Palm Beach Post, August 5, 2014. Retrieved on September 6, 2014. 

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Same-sex unions in the United States

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