Articles Tagged with same sex marriage

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On June 11, 2015, Governor Rick Scott signed the bill that will remove the language banning gay couples from adopting children from Florida law. Though a judge for the 3rd District Court of Appeal in Miami ruled that the ban was unconstitutional and state officials stopped actively enforcing the ban in 2010, the language remained codified in Florida law. Florida was the only state in the U.S. to have such a ban and, though removing the language is largely a formality, gay rights advocacy groups celebrated the fact that the “lingering insult” of the decades-old law will be gone.


Another Threat to Gay Adoption Failed in 2015

Earlier this year, there was another bill on the table in Florida regarding same-sex couples adopting, though that proposed law would have threatened gay adoption rights, not preserved them. HB 7111 would have allowed private adoption companies to deny adoption for gay couples by citing “religious or moral convictions or policies” without risking losing their adoption agency license from the state. Though the bill was presented as a protection of religious freedom, opponents maintained that it was no more than a thinly veiled attack on the equal rights of same-sex couples.

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At the Boca Raton office of family law attorney Alan R. Burton, we have been keeping a close eye on the new developments in the many cases taking place in Florida regarding same-sex marriage. Currently, our state constitution defines marriage as only between opposite sex partners and prohibits the state from recognizing same-sex marriages. This caused an issue for two women who were legally married in Massachusetts, moved to Florida for some time, and wished to end their marriage. Florida family courts denied the women a divorce because their marriage itself was not recognized, so there was no legal union in Florida to dissolve. The couple appealed their case.

Additionally, several same-sex couples who wish to marry in Florida have brought cases challenging the constitutionality of the gay marriage ban. As we have previously discussed on this blog, two county judges in Florida ruled in favor of the plaintiffs, stating that the ban on same-sex marriage was unconstitutional, serves no important government interest, and is unnecessarily discriminatory against same-sex couples and their families. The Florida Attorney General, Pam Bondi, immediately announced her intentions to appeal these decisions on behalf of the state and its current constitution.

Florida Supreme Court may Hear First Same-sex Case