Americans for Marriage Equality

State ResourcesFlorida

Status: Constitutional amendment banning marriage equality.

In Pareto v. Ruvin, six same-sex couples and Equality Florida, represented by private counsel and National Center for Lesbian Rights, are challenging Florida’s marriage ban in state court. The plaintiffs argue that denying them access to marriage violates their rights to due process and equal protection under the U.S. Constitution. Their complaint was filed in January 2014 and is awaiting a response from the state.

In Brenner v. Scott, a same-sex couple legally married in Canada several years ago is asking the state to recognize their marriage. The lawsuit was filed in federal court in early March 2014.  In Grimsley & Albu v. Scott, a number of same-sex couples legally married in other states are asking for Florida to recognize their unions. The complaint was filed in federal court by the ACLU on March 13, 2014.  These cases were consolidated by the court and on August 21, 2014, U.S. District Court Judge Robert Hinkle ruled in favor of the plaintiffs, striking down the states's marriage equality ban.  The defendants appealed Judge Hinkle's ruling to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit.  

In Huntsman v. Heavilin, a same-sex couple is suing Monroe County Clerk Amy Heavilin after they applied for a marriage license and were denied.  The lawsuit was filed in state court on April 1, 2014, and on July 17, 2014 Monroe County Circuit Judge Luis Garcia, appointed by Republican Governor Jeb Bush, ruled against Florida’s constitutional amendment banning marriage equality.  

In Shaw v. Shaw, a same-sex couple was legally married in Massachusetts but seeks to dissolve their marriage in Florida.  Massachusetts law requires that a couple seeking divorce domicile in the state for a full year prior to filing. As the couple lives in Florida, this is not possible. The couple presented the circuit judge with a marital settlement agreement, as such the divorce would require little judicial time or resources.  They filed for divorce in March of 2014. 

Dousset v. Florida Atlantic University is a state lawsuit filed in the District Court of Appeal for the Fourth District in Florida by a man seeking for the state to respect his marriage his husband in order to pay "in-state" tuition rates at Florida Atlantic University.