---

Federal Court Holds Florida Same-Sex Marriage Ban Unconstitutional

After several Florida trial courts ruled against Florida’s ban on same-sex marriage, The U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Florida held that Florida’s ban* on same-sex marriage violates the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution and thus struck it down as unconstitutional.  The Court stressed that same-sex couples have a fundamental right to marry and that a state may not override that right.  It noted:

“The institution of marriage survived when bans on interracial marriage were struck down, and the institution will survive when bans on same-sex marriage are struck down. Liberty, tolerance, and respect are not zero-sum concepts. Those who enter opposite-sex marriages are harmed not at all when others, including these plaintiffs, are given the liberty to choose their own life partners and are shown the respect that comes with formal marriage. Tolerating views with which one disagrees is a hallmark of civilized society.”

 

*Article 1, § 27 of the Florida Constitution provides: “Marriage defined.—Inasmuch as marriage is the legal union of only one man and one woman as husband and wife, no other legal union that is treated as marriage or the substantial equivalent thereof shall be valid or recognized.”

Florida Statutes § 741.212 provides:

“(1) Marriages between persons of the same sex entered into in any jurisdiction, whether within or outside the State of Florida, the United States, or any other jurisdiction, either domestic or foreign, or any other place or location, or relationships between persons of the same sex which are treated as marriages in any jurisdiction, whether within or outside the State of Florida, the United States, or any other jurisdiction, either domestic or foreign, or any other place or location, are not recognized for any purpose in this state.
(2) The state, its agencies, and its political subdivisions may not give effect to any public act, record, or judicial proceeding of any state, territory, possession, or tribe of the United States or of any other jurisdiction, either domestic or foreign, or any other place or location respecting either a marriage or relationship not recognized under subsection (1) or a claim arising from such a marriage or relationship.
(3) For purposes of interpreting any state statute or rule, the term “marriage” means only a legal union between one man and one woman as husband and wife, and the term “spouse” applies only to a member of such a union.”

Florida Statutes § 741.04(1) provides: “No county court judge or clerk of the circuit court in this state shall issue a license for the marriage of any person . . . unless one party is male and the other party is female.”

 

Want to further discuss these issues?  Contact me at 954-944-3929 or nrumbak@rumbaklaw.com.

*This document contains legal information, but does not contain legal advice.

 

 

Leave a Reply