It seems that the fight to legalize same-sex marriage has persisted for decades, with both sides actively opposing the other’s efforts. On January 6, 2015, history was made when Florida officially gave same-sex couples the right to marry. All Florida counties are now bound by the U.S. Constitution to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples, a monumental decision indeed.
What makes this decision so significant is all that has taken place leading up to that day in January. Understanding some of the history behind same-sex marriage in Florida can lead to a greater appreciation of the ruling and work to shape the future for the better.
The History of Same-Sex Marriage in Florida
The legalization of same-sex marriage really began making headway with the Brenner v. Scott case. This federal lawsuit was filed in Tallahassee on February 28, 2014 and it challenged Florida’s constitutional ban on same-sex marriage. The plaintiffs were a same-sex couple who married in Canada in 2009 and wanted their marriage recognized in Florida.
The case quickly gained ground when an unmarried same-sex couple joined the suit. Florida was now faced with an immense decision – should unmarried, same-sex couples be given the freedom to marry and should already married, same-sex couples have their marriage recognized in Florida?
When a stay was set to expire regarding same-sex marriage, the state of Florida pursued extensions from both the District Court judge and the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals. Their requests were denied and same-sex couples eagerly waited for the stay to expire. It did, on January 6, effectively legalizing same-sex marriage in Florida.
After much strain and toil, one of the most controversial issues in the state’s history has finally been resolved and same-sex couples are reaping the benefits. If you are hoping to pursue same-sex marriage, our firm would be honored to assist you.
Contact our Fort Myers family law attorneys today – we can help protect your rights.