Florida

The Facts:
Florida bans same-sex marriage by both constitutional amendment and state law.  Oddly enough, the ban appears in Section I of the Constitution, which is entitled Declaration of Rights.

You can show your support for marriage equality in Florida by volunteering time, donating money or simply contacting your lawmakers urging them to do what’s right.

U.S. Senator Bill Nelson (D) (SUPPORTS Marriage Equality)
225 East Robinson Street, Suite 410 Orlando, FL 32801
407-872-7161 1-888-671-4091
http://www.billnelson.senate.gov

U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R) (OPPOSES Marriage Equality)
3802 Spectrum Boulevard, Suite 106 Tampa, FL 33612
813-977-6450
http://www.rubio.senate.gov

Click here to go to the U.S. House’s site and find your district’s representative
Click here to go to the Florida Senate’s site and find your district’s senator
Click here to go to the Florida House’s site and find your district’s state representative

Equality Florida Tampa Bay eqfl.org
813-870-3735
Human Rights Campaign 1-800-777-4723

Florida Gay Marriage News

81% of Floridians are just fine with same-sex marriage

New poll comes two months after nuptials began statewide

March 26, 2015

Contact:
Jim Harper, Media/Communications, 727-388-3636, jim@eqfl.org

A new poll shows that a vast majority of Floridians are content that same-sex couples can now marry in their state.

“Gay marriage becoming legal in Florida doesn't seem to be doing anyone much harm,” says Public Policy Polling, a widely respected research firm in Raleigh, North Carolina.

“Eighty-one percent of voters in the state say it's either had a positive impact on their lives or no impact at all, with just 20% claiming that it's affected them negatively.”

Even among Republican voters, whose party has long argued against marriage equality, more than seven in 10 said marriage equality had affected them positively or not at all.

“Florida has embraced the freedom to marry. The hollow rhetoric of prejudice continues to fall away as people across the state celebrate the weddings of their friends and family,” said Nadine Smith, CEO of Equality Florida, one of several groups that helped overturn Florida’s ban on same-sex marriage. “Thousands of couples have already taken advantage of this new freedom in Florida, and our communities are better and stronger because of it.”

The poll of registered voters was conducted between March 19 and 22, a little more than two months after a federal appeals court decided not to intervene in lower court rulings that had invalidated Florida’s ban.

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PamBondirun

At Least Florida's Anti Equality AG Looks Hot in Her Underwear

PamBondirun

I mention this because Pam Bondi's response to a lawsuit challenging Florida's anti-equality laws doesn't really raise any new arguments or give us anything we haven't heard over and over (and over and over and over) again.  She just wants the case thrown out.

She feels that if two men or two women marry each other in another state and Florida is forced to recognize those marriages it will "impose significant public harm"  She raises the tired "Won't someone please think of the children?" argument claiming that society "has a legitimate interest in increasing the likelihood that children will be born to and raised by the mothers and fathers who produced them in stable and enduring family units"  Bondi is on her third marriage currently, so she knows all about those.  She also claims that Florida will suffer financially if it is forced to pay all these pensions and benefits people have been working for.

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Six Florida Gay Marriage Cases

Here is a quick primer on the six current legal cases for gay marriage in Florida, compiled by Equality Florida. People who want to marry, people who are already married in other states and even people who don't want to be married anymore have all filed for their rights.

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FAU Student's Marriage Equality Case Makes it to Appeals Court

Gildas Dousset, a Florida Atlantic University student, filed an appeal in Florida's Fourth District Court of Appeals on Wednesday.  He married his husband in Massachusetts in 2013, and when he applied for in-state tuition, he was told that the school was prohibited from recognizing his marriage, and that he would have to pay out-of-state tuition rates.  With FAU's current tuition, 120 credit hours will cost $62,226 more for an out-of-state student.

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Judge to Florida Family Association: "I Don't Like It" Doesn't Make You an Honorary Defendant

District court Judge Robert Hinkle rejected a motion to intervene as a defendant from the Florida Family Association, saying "FFA's generalized interest in opposing same-sex marriage does not entitle FFA to intervene."  The judge also found that the FFA's lawyers had failed to cite a federal statute entitling them to intervene.

Hinkle also consolidated two challenges to Florida's ban on same-sex marriage into a single case.

Florida Family Association Will Not Be Allowed to Intervene in Gay Marriage Cases - Gay Star News

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New Poll Shows 56 Percent of Voters Approve Marriage Equality

A new poll released by Quinnipiac University found that 56 percent of Florida voters support allowing same-sex couples to marry.  The only age group that did not support marriage equality was voters over the age of 65, who were divided with 45 percent in favor and 49 percent opposed.  Support was slightly higher among women.

The poll also showed Charlie Crist having a 48 to 38 percent lead over incumbent Governor Rick Scott.

Quinnipiac Poll: Crist Leads Scott, Florida Voters Back Gay Marriage - Bay News 9

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Florida Plaintiffs' Gay Agenda? Convince You They're Just as Boring as Everyone Else

Well, that's partially true.  Equality Florida also chose plaintiffs that had valid legal cases and that could handle having the media examine them and determine that they really are just like everybody else.

How Florida's Gay-Marriage Advocates Plan to Win in the Court of Public Opinion - WLRN

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Florida Gets Sued Over Their Gay Marriage Ban AGAIN!

Nothing super new here aside from the same judge that overturned the adoption ban back in 2008 is also hearing this case, but check out the plaintiff couple! WOOF!

Gay Key West Men Sue For Right to Marry in Florida After Monroe Clerk's Office Denies Couple a License - Bradenton Herald

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Florida's Gay Marriage Ban Won't Even Let These Ladies End Their Marriage!

Some states are so against the idea of two people of the same sex being married that they don't even want them to be all "We want to end this marriage" because that would involve admitting it's there in the first place.  What are a couple of ladies who pretty much have their entire divorce figured out and just need the state to say "Ok. You aren't married any more" to do?  Sue Florida like all those other couples did.

Tampa Couple's Divorce Could Challenge Same-Sex Marriage Ban - Tampa Bay Times

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Equality Florida

Equality Florida is the largest civil rights organization dedicated to securing full equality for Florida's lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community.  They have information on adoption issues, discrimination against the LGBT community, family recognition/marriage equality, hate crimes, student safety and GSA programs in schools, and voter mobilization

http://www.eqfl.org

813-870-3735

P.O. Box 13184

St. Petersburg, FL 33733

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Social Security Only In "Legal" States

The Social Security Administration announced on Friday that it will begin offering partner benefits to same-sex couples, but  BuzzFeed reports the benefits will not be applied as consistently as some other federal benefits available to same-sex couples since the Supreme Court overturned the Defense of Marriage Act.  For now only married same-sex couples who live in a state that recognizes their marriages will be eligible to receive the Social Security spousal benefit.

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DOMA Goes Down!

The Supreme Court propelled the nation toward greater equality in late June with two 5-to-4 rulings that restored same-sex marriage in California and struck down the central provisions of the Defense of Marriage Act, the dreadful 1996 law that denied federal benefits to same-sex couples married in states that permit it.

The Defense of Marriage Act ruling struck a blow against injustice, but it also accentuated the unfairness to same-sex couples who would like to get married but live in states that do not permit it and therefore cannot take the same advantage of more than 1,000 federal benefits available to other couples.

From New York Times

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