January 31, 2024

When Did Gay Marriage Become Legal in Florida?

A few years ago, voters passed a constitutional amendment defining marriage as between one man and one woman. A year later, a U.S. district judge ruled the state’s same-sex marriage ban was unconstitutional, but he put a stay on his ruling until Jan. 5, 2015. Now that same-sex marriage is legal across the country, Florida’s marriage laws are changing and people have questions about how they might be affected.

The Supreme Court’s historic decision in Obergefell v Hodges has some significant effects in Florida. While same-sex couples have been able to marry for years because of court rulings, they have had to do so in states that didn’t have a ban in place. This has often led to difficulties when people travel or move to other states for work, as their marriages may not be recognized. A new law filed at the Florida capitol during 2023 would eliminate this issue, and it will likely be debated during the upcoming legislative session.

The decision also alleviates confusion about whether Florida recognizes same-sex marriages entered into in other states or countries. However, the Supreme Court did not address whether sexual orientation is a protected class, so discrimination based on that factor is still permitted. If you have questions about how the decision affects your marriage, contact West Palm Beach family law attorney William Wallshein for a free consultation. He has extensive experience in this area of the law and can help you understand your rights.


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