Laws

United States of America

FLORIDA

Limited information only available for these topics

Access to Children
Adoption of Children
Age of Consent
Anti-Vilification
Artifical Insemination
Assisted Reproduction
Bullying
Custody of Children
  Civil Unions
Discrimination
Estates, Wills
Fostering Children
Gender Identity
Harassment
Hate & Serious Crimes
  Health, Medical
HIV/Aids
Homosexuality
Inheritance, Succession
In Vitro Fertilisation (IVF)
Marriage
Partners
Parenting
  Privacy
Property
Sodomy
Surrogacy
Taxation
Transgender, Transsexual
Violence
Wrongful Death

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Age of Consent Legislation/Cases/References
1.

State

Consensual sex between same sex couples is lawful at age 18 years, though persons aged between 16 and 23 can also engage in lawful consensual sex [L1.1].


Florida Statutes. Title XLVI Crimes. Chapter 794 Sexual Battery. [L1.1].

794.05 Unlawful sexual activity with certain minors.--

(1) A person 24 years of age or older who engages in sexual activity with a person 16 or 17 years of age commits a felony of the second degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084. As used in this section, "sexual activity" means oral, anal, or vaginal penetration by, or union with, the sexual organ of another; however, sexual activity does not include an act done for a bona fide medical purpose.

(2) The provisions of this section do not apply to a person 16 or 17 years of age who has had the disabilities of nonage removed under chapter 743.

L1.1 OnLine Sunshine: 794.05 Unlawful sexual activity with certain minors
Assisted Reproduction Technology
Artificial Insemination, In Vitro Fertilisation
Surrogacy
Legislation/Cases/References
1.

State

Florida law explicitly allows both gestational surrogacy agreements (in which the surrogate mother is not the biological contributor of the egg) and traditional surrogacy agreements (in which the surrogate mother is the biological contributor of the egg), but neither is available to same-sex couples [R1.1].

2.

Courts & Tribunals

On 07 November 2013, the Florida Supreme Court ruled that a woman who donated an egg to her lesbian partner has parental rights to the child, ordering a lower court to determine custody and visitation rights [C2.4], [R2.3].

On 23 December 2011, the 5th District Court of Appeal ruled 2–1 that a child born through in vitro fertilization using an ovum from its birth mother's same-sex partner, is legally the child of both women. Reversing a decision by Brevard County Circuit Judge Charles Crawford, the appellate ruling concluded that failing to recognize the plaintiff's parental rights would violate the US and Florida constitutions [C2.2], [R2.1]. The case

R1.1 Human Rights Campaign: Florida Surrogacy Law 09 SEP 09
C2.4 Opinion: D.M.T. v. T.M.H No. SC12-261 PDF 254.32kb, 06 NOV 13
R2.3 EdgeOnTheNet: Florida Supreme Court Settles Lesbian Custody Battle 07 NOV 13
C2.2 5th District Court of Appeal: T.M.H. v. D.M.T. PDF 194.00kb, 23 DEC 11
R2.1 Leonard Link: Florida Appeals Court Rules Child Has Two Mothers: Bio Mom and Birth Mom 23 DEC 11
Children: Access, Custody, Visitation Legislation/Cases/References
1.

Courts & Tribunals

On 14 October 2015, Chief Judge Villanti (with whom Casanueva and Morris, JJ concurred) in the Florida Second District Court of Appeal overturned a Manatee County circuit judge's ruling that Elizabeth Pasik could legally pursue time-sharing with children her same sex partner Susan Russell had by artificial insemination in 2006 and 2008, Pasik herself carried two children to term, both of whom are the biological half-siblings of the children at issue. The children were raised by both women until the relationship ended in 2011. Pasik continued to play an active parenting role until 2013 when Russell refused to allow visitation with her two children [C1.8], [R1.7].

On 11 August 2014, the 5-judge panel of the Florida Supreme Court upheld a Fifth District Court of Appeal ruling giving adoptive mother G.P. full parental rights of a child born to her estranged partner C.P. and remitted the case to resolve the issues of access and visitation [R1.6].

On 07 November 2013, the Florida Supreme Court ruled that a woman who donated an egg to her lesbian partner has parental rights to the child, ordering a lower court to determine custody and visitation rights [C1.5], [R1.4].

On 24 January 2006, the 1st District Court of Appeal affirmed the dismissal of a lawsuit by Mary L. Wakeman, seeking to enforce visitation rights under a co-parenting agreement she had made with her former partner, Den Dixon, prior to the birth of their two children [C1.3] [R1.2].

In June 2002, a transsexual father has been granted temporary custody of his children after a judge ruled their mother violated standing orders not to use her husband's sex change to turn the children against him [R1.1].

Courts in Florida have reportedly ruled that lesbian ex-partners are not entitled to visitation rights with children they helped nurture but with whom they have no biological tie [R1.0].

C1.8 Opinion: Susan Russell v. Elizabeth A Pasik No. 2D14-5540 PDF 75.81kb, 14 OCT 15
R1.7 CBS Miami: Court Denies Parental Rights In Same Sex Marriage Case 15 OCT 15
R1.6 OrlandoSentinel: Florida high court backs lesbian in visitation fight for adopted son 13 AUG 14
C1.5 Opinion: D.M.T. v. T.M.H No. SC12-261 PDF 254.32kb, 06 NOV 13
R1.4 EdgeOnTheNet: Florida Supreme Court Settles Lesbian Custody Battle 07 NOV 13
C1.3 Wakeman v. Dixon, 921 So.2d 669 (2006)
R1.2 Leonard Link: 24 JAN 06
R1.1 Tampa Tribune: Transsexual Gets Children After Wife Disobeys Judge's Order 09 JUN 02
R1.0 YahooNews/AP: Justices Turn Away Lesbian Dispute 15 NOV 99
Civil Unions, Partners: Domestic, Registered Legislation/Cases/References
1

State

On 18 December 2013, State Rep. Linda Stewart (D-Orlando) filed HB 439 (The Florida Families Act), which if approved, would create a domestic partner registry for the state of Florida [R1.4].

On 01 April 2013, the Senate Committee on Children, Families and Elder Affairs voted 5-4 in favour of SB 196 that were it to become law would establish a domestic partner registry and guarantee specific rights to gay and lesbian partners. With four more committee stops in the Senate and the House not having considered it, the Bill likely has no future [R1.3].

On 12 September 2011, Democrats, Rep. Mark Pafford of West Palm Beach and Sen. Eleanor Sobel of Hollywood respectively introduced Bills HB139 and SB166 “An act relating to domestic partnerships” to recognise domestic partnerships [L1.2], [R1.1].

2

County

On 08 August 2016, the Osceola County Commissioners approved the creation of a Domestic Partnership Registry enabling two unmarried unrelated adult registrants aged at least 18 to verify they are in a relationship residing in the same household, giving them the same rights to make emergency life decisions at places like the hospital, jail or funeral home. Any unmarried couples will be able to sign up for it in about 90 days, once the Clerk's Office sets fees if they're required. Nothing in the ordinance recognizes a domestic partnership as a marriage [R2.14].

On 20 October 2015, Orange County Commissioners repealed the domestic partner benefits program for Orange County employees who are in unmarried gay relationships, with effect from 01 January 2016. Eleven county employees use the program, and they will continue to have medical coverage until the end of next year [D2.13], [R2.12].

On 13 October 2015, the Broward County Commission updated its domestic partnership ordinance, adding new protections (including the right for domestic partners to participate in the education of dependents of their partners) and ensuring that partnerships registered elsewhere will be recognized in Broward County [R2.11].

On 15 October 2014, the Hillsborough County commissioners will hold a public hearing and vote on whether to create a domestic partner registry [R2.10].

On 05 June 2013, the Sarasota County Commissioners unanimously voted to green light a countywide domestic partner registry that would offer a handful of protections to non-married couples living in the county. The Ordinance is expected to be ready for consideration on 19 June [R2.9].

On 12 March, Leon County commissioners voted 7-0 to approve an Ordinance creating a county-wide Domestic Partner Registry, opening 01 May [L2.8], [R2.7].

On 15 January 2013, Pinellas County Commissioners passed 6–1 a proposal to create a domestic registry (beginning 15 April 2013), giving unmarried couples – gay or straight – the right to visit each other in hospitals, make medical decisions for each other in a crisis and, depending on their employers, share health insurance coverage. There will be a $50 fee to register [R2.6].

On 21 February 2012, lawmakers in Orange County agreed to broaden the scope of the domestic-partner registry currently in effect in the city of Orlando, which will extend certain benefits to unmarried gay and straight couples throughout the county [R2.5].

On 08 November 2011, Broward County approved the Equal Benefits Ordinance, requiring the county's vendor companies with contracts of $100,000 or more with the county and who have 5 or more employees to provide domestic partners with benefits equal to those offered to spouses of married employees or a cash equivalent [R2.4].

On 19 April 2011, Orange County leaders voted 6–0 to extend health and other workplace benefits to the partners and children of gay county employees. Miami-Dade and Broward counties have already extended similar benefits to gay workers [R2.3].

In September 2008, the Palm Beach County School District agreed to insure the children of its employees' domestic partners [R2.2].

In December 2001, the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office began offering medical benefits to gay and unmarried couples beginning January 2002 [R2.1].

3.

Cities & Towns

On 16 September 2014, Boynton Beach Commissioners voted 4-to-1 to grant benefits to both heterosexual and homosexual partners of city employees equivalent to those offered to employees in state-recognized marriages [R3.22].

On 18 August 2014, West Palm Beach city commission passed an ordinance 5-0 requiring contractors with five or more employees and people who do at least $50,000 in business with the city to offer equal family benefits to all employees, including those in same-sex relationships. Companies that provide no benefits to employees' spouses or dependents, government entities and certain contracts are exempted [R3.21].

On 12 December 2013, the Pensacola City Council gave final approval 8-1 to establishing a domestic partnership registry. Registrants will be granted the ability to make medical and funeral decisions for each other, visit one another in the hospital or prison and participate in the education of mutual children and also will be automatically notified in case of an emergency and designated as pre-need guardians [R3.20].

On 10 September 2013, the Boca Raton City Council voted 4-1 to pass Ordinance No. 5251) to extend the full range of domestic partnership benefits to its municipal employees [L3.19], [R3.18].

On 10 September 2013, the Palm Beach Gardens City Council voted unanimously to offer health insurance benefits to municipal employees’ domestic partners and their dependent children, with a target implementation date of 01 January 2014 [R3.17].

On 11 July 2013, the Palm Beach Town Council set 13 August 2013 as the date to make a final decision on whether to offer domestic partnership benefits to employees with same-sex spouses or partners [R3.16].

On 05 June 2013, the Miami Beach City Commission unanimously passed a tax equity ordinance that allows the city to reimburse municipal employees in domestic partnerships who pay extra taxes on health benefits that married heterosexuals do not have to pay [R3.15].

On 09 May 2013, Miami Beach City Commission unanimously passed a Tax Equity Ordinance to reimburse City employees who are in domestic partnerships and are being taxed on the payments they make on their health insurance benefits. The final ordinance goes up for second reading and final passage on 08 June [R3.14].

On 29 April 2013, the City of West Palm Beach approved an ordinance that would provide funds to city employees in domestic partners to compensate them for the federal tax dollars they are forced to pay for health insurance benefits. Final approval is expected in two weekst [R3.13].

On 11 March 2013, Bay Harbour Islands council passed an ordinance offering benefits to the same-sex partners of city employees, allowing LGBT couples and their dependents access to health insurance and other employment fringe benefits [D3.12], [R3.11].

On 15 October 2012, the City of Sarasota approved the Domestic Partnership Registry Ordinance No 12-5019 [D3.10].

On 07 June 2012, the St. Petersburg Domestic Partner Registry ordinance was passed and came into effect on 01 August 2012, giving registered partners the right to visit each other in the hospital, make life-and-death decisions on each other's behalf and participate in the education of shared children, Registration costs $30.00. [R3.9].

On 05 December 2011, Orlando City Council voted 7–0 to establish a domestic partner registry that would protect partners, including hospital visitation, rights to health care decisions, correctional facility visitation, rights to funeral/burial decisions, guardianship and the right for both domestic partners to participate in the education of their children. The final unanimous vote on 12 December means the registry comes into effect 12 January 2011 [R3.8]. Registration will cost $30.

On 08 September 2011, the City of St. Cloud approved an ordinance in a 3-2 vote to provide health insurance for domestic partners of employees, effective 01 October 2011 [R3.7].

On 07 September 2011, the Fort Lauderdale City Commission unanimously passed a resolution to cover health insurance for domestic partners of employees, effective 01 January 2012 [R3.7].

In April 2010, the Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami reportedly had developed and implemented a non-discrimination policy that includes sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression, a patient's bill of rights and a visitation policy that includes same-sex partners [R3.6].

See: Courts & Tribunals [R4.1] [R4.2] below.

On 09 March 2010, the city commission of Kissimmee approved 4–1 domestic partnership benefits for LGBT city employees [R3.5].

On 28 October 2009, the Tallahassee city commission unanimously approved domestic-partner benefits for city employees, allowing same-sex partners of city workers access to health, dental, vision, and other benefits coverage upon proof of their relationship [R3.4].

On 11 June 2009, City of Miami commissioners passed a domestic-partnership ordinance that would allow the city to offer health benefits to its employees' declared domestic partners [R3.3].

In August 1999, Gainesville city commissioners approved a plan to extend health benefits to both opposite- and same-sex partners starting at the beginning of 2000 [R3.2].


In November 2001, voters in Miami Beach approved offering health care coverage to domestic partners of city employees. The proposal defines domestic partners as two people in a committed relationship that is registered with the city [R3.1].

A second ballot measure that would offer survivor benefits to the domestic partners of police officers and firefighters was approved.


Domestic partnership benefits are believed to be available in at least five municipalities.

4.

Courts & Tribunals

On 04 August 2014, Circuit Court Judge Dale C Cohen ruled that the state's same-sex marriage ban unconstitutional in preventing state officials from recognizing legal civil unions and marriages performed outside of the state and granting Heather Brassner a dissolution of her civil union. The order was immediately stayed pending the outcome of expected appeals [C4.5], [R4.4].

In September 2009, a federal court in Miami threw out the case of a lesbian denied the right to visit her dying partner in a Florida hospital, saying that no law required the hospital to admit visitors [R4.3] [R4.2].

In June 2008, a lesbian took legal action against the Jackson Memorial Hospital after being refused the right to sit with her dying partner of 18 years [R4.2] however,


In April 2001, the Florida supreme court declined to hear arguments in support of a declaration that a Broward County ordinance allowing unmarried partners to receive some of the same benefits as married couples was in violation of the state's defense of marriage act [R4.1].

R1.4 SFGN: Statewide Domestic Partner Registry Filed 23 DEC 13
R1.3 SunSentinal: Senate committee approves same-sex registry, rights 01 APR 13
L1.2 Florida House of Representatives: HB 139: An act relating to domestic partnerships PDF 183.40kb, 12 SEP 11
R1.1 The Advocate: Despite Marriage Ban, Florida Lawmakers Try for Domestic Partnerships 15 SEP 11
R2.14 Commission creates domestic partner registry 10 AUG 16
D2.13 Memorandum: BCC Consent Agenda - Orctober 20, 2015, Domestic Partner Benefits Program PNG 191kb 07 OCT 15
R2.12 TheWashingtonTimes: Orange County repeals benefits for unmarried gay couples 20 OCT 15
R2.11 SFGN: Broward Updates and Reaffirms Its Domestic Partnership Ordinance 14 OCT 15
R2.10 LGBTQ Nation: Florida county adds sexual orientation, gender identity to human rights ordinance 01 OCT 14
R2.9 SFGN: Sarasota County Green Lights Creation of Domestic Partner Registry 05 JUN 13
L2.8 Leon County: Proposed Ordinance 13 PDF 740.6kb
R2.7 SFGN: Florida’s Leon County Passes Domestic Partnership Registry 15 MAR 13
R2.6 TampaBay Times: Pinellas County approves domestic partner registry 15 JAN 13
R2.5 The Advocate: Orange County, Florida To Allow Domestic-Partner Registry 22 FEB 12
R2.4 LGBTQ Nation: Florida county passes equal benefits ordinance inclusive of same-sex partners 09 NOV 11
R2.3 Orlando Sentinal: Orange leaders approve same-sex benefits 19 APR 11
R2.2 The Advocate: Palm Beach Increases Domestic-Partner Benefits 27-29 SEP 08
R2.1 South Florida Sun-Sentinal News: Palm Beach Sheriff OKs Insurance Benefits for Gay and Unmarried Couples 14 DEC 01
R3.22 SFGN: Boynton Beach Approves Partner Benefits 4 to 1
R3.21 ThePalmBeachPost: West Palm Beach approves same-sex benefit requirements for contractors
R3.20 pnj.com: Council approves domestic partnership registry 12 DEC 13
D3.19 City of Boca Raton: Ordinance No. 5251 PDF 677.78kb (Accessed 14 SEP 13)
R3.18 DailyQueerNews: Boca Raton Finally Implements LGBT Inclusive Policies 11 SEP 13
R3.17 CapitalSoup: Palm Beach Gardens Approves Domestic Partnership Health Insurance Benefits 11 SEP 13
R3.16 DailyQueerNews: Palm Beach Town Council Moves Forward On Domestic Partnership Benefits 11 JUL 13
R3.15 Washington Blade: Miami Beach passes tax equity ordinance 05 JUN 13
R3.14 SFGN: Miami Beach Passes Tax Ordinance for Same-Sex Couples 09 MAY 13
R3.13 City of West Palm Beach: West Palm Beach Approves Historic Domestic Partnership Measure 29 APR 13
D3.12 Proposed Ordinance: Chapter 15 ½ Article VI Domestic Partnership and Family Coverage PDF 93.19kb
R3.11 SFGN: Miami Dade's Bay Harbor Islands Town Approves Domestic Partnership Ordinance 20 MAR 13
D3.10 City of Sarasota: Ordinance 12-5019 PDF 6.37MB, 15 OCT 12
R3.9 TampaBayOnline: St. Petersburg begins registering same-sex couples 01 AUG 12
R3.8 Orlando Sentinel: Vote shows Orlando is growing more gay-friendly 11 DEC
R3.7 People's World: Florida victories hailed as progress for same sex couples 19 SEP 11
R3.6 LambdaLegal: Lambda Legal Applauds Jackson Memorial Policy Changes and Urges Hospital to Apologize to Deceased Lesbian's Family 12 APR 10
R3.5 The Advocate: DP Benefits Approved in Kissimmee 10 MAR 10
R3.4 The Advocate: Gay Rights Victories in Tallahassee 30 OCT 09
R3.3 The Advocate: Miami Passes DP Ordinance 11 JUN 09
R3.2 Gainsville Sun: Domestic-Partner Benefits OK'd 09 AUG 99
R3.1 Associated Press: Five Cities Vote on Gay-Rights Issues 07 NOV 01
C4.5 Order: In Re the Marriage of Heather Brassner and Megan E Lade No. 13-012057 (37) PDF 7.69MB, 04 AUG 14
R4.4 EqualityOnTrial: Another Florida judge holds state’s same-sex marriage ban is unconstitutional 04 AUG 14
R4.3 The Advocate: Hospital Visitation Case Dismissed 30 SEP 09
R4.2 The Advocate: Lesbian Denied Access to Dying Partner Files Suit 27 JUN 08
MCV: Lesbian Dies Alone 28 FEB 08
R4.1 The Advocate: Florida Court Upholds Partnership Law10 APR 01
Discrimination Legislation/Cases/Documents/References
1.

State

There is no State-wide anti-discrimination legislation preventing discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender [R1.1].

2.

County

On 22 September 2015, Palm Beach County Board of Commissioners voted 6-0 to expand the the definition of public accommodation in the County Ordinance for Equal Opportunity to Housing and Places of Public Accommodation to include retail stores, schools, daycare and senior centers, medical offices, funeral homes, bakeries, laundromats, and virtually all other places of business throughout the county. The ordinance protects against discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation and gender identity. Violations carry a fine of up to $50,000 [R2.9].

On 02 December 2014, Miami-Dade County Commissioners passed an ordinance 8-3 (two absentees) amending the Human Rights Ordinance to protect citizens from discrimination on the basis of gender identity in housing, public accommodations and employment [R2.8].

On 01 October 2014, Hillsborough County commissioners voted 7-0 in favor of expanding the county's Human Rights Ordinance to cover sexual orientation and gender identity in prohibiting discrimination in employment, public accommodations, real estate transactions, and county contracting and procurement [R2.7].

On 19 May 2011, the Volusia County Council voted 6–1 to add sexual orientation and gender identity as forbidden grounds for discrimination under the County's ordinance prohibition discrimination in employment, public housing and public accommodations [R2.6].

On 23 November 2010, by a 6–1 vote, Orange County banned sexual orientation- and gender identity-based discrimination in employment, housing and public accommodations [R2.5].

On 11 May 2010, Leon County, which includes the Florida state capital of Tallahassee, approved a human rights ordinance that includes protections for sexual orientation and gender identity. The law also adds the protections to the county's personnel policy [R2.4].

Palm Beach County commissioners have enacted a new law allows anyone in the county to file claims against an employer of 15 or more workers for discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, marital status or family status -- adding those categories to the existing list of race, color, sex, national origin, religion, age and disability [R2.3].

A claim can lead to a county demand for compensation of lost wages or legal action seeking other damages.


In 1998 the Miami-Dade County 1977 human rights ordinance, which makes discrimination in housing, employment and finance on the basis of sexual orientation unlawful, was reinstated [R2.2].

An attempt led by the Florida Christian Coalition to overturn the ordinance was defeated by voters 10 September 2002.


In 1990, a Palm Beach County ordinance was passed, that protects gays from housing discrimination [R2.1].

3.

Cities & Towns

On 21 January 2016, Lake Worth City Commissioners unanimously voted to ensure that the city's lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) residents and municipal employees will be protected from discrimination, updating the city's procurement policy, merit services policy and the Fair Housing Act to prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity or expression [R3.21].

On 13 October 2015, the Wellington Village Council voted unanimously to enact Ordinance No. 2015-11 (Civil Rights), an anti-discrimination ordinance to extend state and county protections to everyone regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation or other identifying factors. It prohibits discrimination of any kind, including employment and housing, effective immediately upon adoption [L3.20], [R3.19].

On 05 October 2015, the Mascotte City Council introduced a Human Rights ordinance to make unlawful discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation and gender identity in the areas of employment, housing and public accommodations. The ordinance will be considered for adoption on 02 November [R3.18].

On 26 May 2015, the City Commission of the City of Leesburg passed 3-2 an anti-discrimination ordinance making discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity in public accommodations and workplaces and the provision of services unlawful [L3.17], [R3.16].

On 17 February 2015, Boynton Beach City Commissioners unanimously voted on first reading to adopt a civil rights ordinance establishing, as matter of public policy, that the city opposes discrimination based on race, color, national origin, religion, sex, gender identity or expression, genetic information, sexual orientation, disability, marital status, pregnancy, familial status or age. A final vote is expected on 03 March [R3.15].

On 16 September 2014, Boynton Beach Commissioners voted 4-to-1 to update city personnel policies to prohibit discrimination due to gender identity or expression and instructed the city attorney to draft a civil rights ordinance that will include LGBT residents and be voted on later in the year [R3.14].

On 11 August 2014, the Orlando City Council voted 7-0 to approve an amendment to the city's Human Rights Ordinance that adds “gender identity” as a protected class in the areas of housing, employment, and public accommodations [R3.13].

On 10 September 2013, the Boca Raton City Council voted unanimously to pass (Ordinance No. 5252) extending the jurisdiction of the Community Relations Board to include the city's lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender residents [L3.12], [R3.11].

On 15 August 2012, the City Council of Jacksonville rejected an ordinance that would have protected people from being fired for being gay or transgender [R3.10].

On 28 October 2009, the Tallahassee city commission agreed to add sexual orientation and gender identity to the city's antidiscrimination and antiharassment policies [R3.9].

In March 2009, fifty-eight per cent of Gainesville residents voted against repealing the anti-discrimination protections extended to gay, lesbian, bisexual and trans people [R3.8].

In 2008, Gainesville added gender identity to its antidiscrimination protections [R3.7].

In 2002, Gainesville and several other cities had adopted at least some form of protection based on sexual orientation [R3.6].


In January 2003, Key West added "gender identity and expression" to its human rights ordinance [R3.5].


In 1992, Miami Beach became the first city in the county to give equal protection to gays and lesbians in housing, employment and accommodations [R3.4].


In December 2002, an Orlando city ordinance prohibited employers from denying jobs and promotions because of sexual orientation. Landlords cannot refuse prospective lessees because they are gay or lesbian. Public accommodations such as hotels, bars and restaurants cannot refuse service to gays. It took effect Jan. 1 [R3.3].

Discrimination on the grounds that include race, color, age, disability, religion and national origin are already protected [R3.3].


In August 2003, Sarasota City Commission passed an ordinance prohibiting businesses with 5 or more unrelated employees from discriminating in employment, housing and public accommodations based on age, disability, gender, marital status, national origin, race, religion, sexual orientation and military veteran status [R3.2].

Effective 01 October 2003, people alleging discrimination will be able to lodge complaints with a city Human Relations Board. If the dispute cannot be resolved through mediation, the board can grant the right to sue in circuit court [R3.2].

Compensatory damages for discrimination in businesses with fewer than 15 employees is capped at $100,000.


In March 2003, the Lake County town of Montverde added sexual orientation to the protected categories in the town's charter November 2002 [R3.1].

A lawsuit commenced by three residents asks the court to force the town to rescind its charter and to revert to its previous 1925 charter.

4.

Courts & Tribunals

On 09 February 2017, Administrative Law Judge J. Bruce Culpepper ruled that Cut the Cake proprietors, Sharon Haller and her daughter, Cyndol Knarr did not discriminate against Robert Mannarino on the grounds of religion in refusing to make him a cake with the words ''Homosexuality is an abomination unto the Lord'' and the bakery was not a place of ''public accommodation'' [C4.9], [R4.8].

On 06 December 2016, the Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit overturned a lower-court ruling that supported the Lake County School Board's decision to block middle-schoolers from forming a gay-straight-alliance club to combat bullying, finding that the Equal Access Act - which requires federally funded secondary schools to treat all extracurricular clubs the same - applies to middle-school students [C4.7], [R4.6].

On 16 September 2015, the District Court of Appeal for the Fourth District ruled that “In light of the recent decision of the Supreme Court of the United States in Obergefell v. Hodges, 135 S. Ct. 2584 (2015), we reverse the determination of the Residency Appeals Committee of Florida Atlantic University denying the appellant's request for classification as a Florida resident based on his Massachusetts marriage to his same-sex spouse [C4.5], [R4.4].

On 30 May 2013, a federal judge upheld the right of a gay-straight alliance to meet at a middle school in Leesburg in compliance with an agreement reached late last month that allowed the group to meet until the end of the school year [R4.3].

On 01 November 2012, the Bank of America agreed to make an administrative payment of $7,500 to the Department of Housing and Urban Development as a consequence of denying a Flordia couple a mortgage based on their sexuality [D4.2], [R4.1].

1. State
R1.1 Associated Press: Gay-rights ordinance up for a vote 01 SEP 02
2. County
R2.8 MiamiNewTimes: Miami-Dade Passes Transgender Inclusive Human Rights Ordinance 03 DEC 14
R2.7 LGBTQ Nation: Florida county adds sexual orientation, gender identity to human rights ordinance 01 OCT 14
R2.6 Lesbian/Gay Law Notes: Sexual orientation and gender identity discrimination unlawful in Volusia County Council PDF 433.08kb, MAY 11 at page 117
R2.5 Equality Florida: Orange County commissioners pass LGBT protections on 6-1 vote 23 NOV 10
R2.4 The Advocate: Florida County Approves Nondiscrimination Law 12 MAY 10
R2.3 Palm Beach Post: Gay-rights Law Quietly Passed 04 DEC 02
R2.2 Associated Press: Florida County Revives Gay Rights Law 02 DEC 98
R2.1 South Florida Sun-Sentinel: Boca Apartment Complex Excluded Gay Men, Lawsuit says 14 MAR 03
3. Cities & Towns
R3.21 DailyQueerNews: Lake Worth Expands LGBT Rights 21 JAN 15
L3.20 Ordinance: Ordinance No. 2015-11 PDF 129.97kb
R3.19 PalmBeachPost: Wellington approves 'another layer'of discrimination protection 23 OCT 15
R3.18 DailyCommercial: Mascotte law to protect rights of gay, transgender citizens 06 OCT 15
L3.17 Ordinance: Leesburg Discrimination Policy PDF 114.90kb, 22 MAY 15
R3.16 myFoxOrlando: Leesburg passes LGBT anti-discrimination law 238 MAY 15
R3.15 DailyQueerNews: Boynton Beach Approves LGBT-Inclusive Civil Rights Ordinance 17 FEB 15
R3.14 SFGN: Boynton Beach Approves Partner Benefits 4 to 1
R3.13 BuzzFeed: Orlando Unanimously Approves Transgender Non-Discrimination Protections 14 AUG 14
D3.12 City of Boca Raton: Ordinance No. 5252 PDF 631.83kb (Accessed 14 SEP 13)
R3.11 DailyQueerNews: Boca Raton Finally Implements LGBT Inclusive Policies 11 SEP 13
R3.10 Jacksonville Fails Its LGBT Citizens, Rejects Work Protections 16 AUG 12
R3.9 The Advocate: Gay Rights Victories in Tallahassee 30 OCT 09
R3.8 PinkNews.co.uk: Gainesville keeps LGBT discrimination protections 25 MAR 09
R3.7 The Advocate: Activists Fight to Keep Nondiscrimination Ordinances in Gainesville, Florida 09 OCT 08
R3.6 Orlando Sentinel: Legal Protection for Gays Could Spark Bitter Debate 17 JAN 02
R3.5 Reuters: Key West Approves Transgender Rights Protection 09 JAN 03
R3.4 Miami Herald: Beach Hate Crime Condemned 04 JAN 03
R3.3 South Florida Sun-Sentinel: Orlando votes to protect gays 03 DEC 02
The Advocate: Orlando Gives First Approval to Gay Rights 20 NOV 02
R3.2 Sarasota Herald-Tribune: City OKs ordinance prohibiting antigay bias 05 AUG 03
Associated Press: Aside from Nevada, Gay Causes Fare Well in Election 06 NOV 02
R3.1 Orlando Sentinel: Gay-rights protections in Lake town spur 3 to sue 20 MAR 03
4. Courts & Tribunals
C4.9 Recommended Order: Robert Mannarino v. Cut the Cake Bakery No. 16-3465 PDF 133.06kb, 09 FEB 17
R4.8 OrlandoWeekly: Judge sides with Orlando bakery owners who refused to put anti-gay slogan on cake 10 FEB 17
C4.7 Opinion: Carver Middle School Gay-Straight Alliance, et al. v. School Board of Lake County, Florida 15-14183 PDF 102.36kb 06 DEC 16
R4.6 OrlandoSentinel: ACLU: Appeals court ruling allows gay-straight-alliance clubs 06 DEC 16
C4.5 Opinion: Gildas Dousset v. Florida Atlantic Unjiversity and State of Florida No. 4D14-480 PDF 89.91kb 16 SEP 15
R4.4 PalmBeachPost: Same-sex couple wins in-state tuition at FAU 16 SEP 15
R4.3 The Advocate: Judge Rules for Florida GSA 31 MAY 13
D4.2 Settlement Agreement: In the Matter of Bank of America, N.A. 12-1657-MR PDF 194.93kb, 01 NOV 12
R4.1 PinkNews: Florida lesbian couple win $7,500 after Bank of America refused them a mortgage 03 JAN 13

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Estates, Inheritance, Property, Succession, Wills Legislation/Cases/References
1.

Cities & Towns

In 2002, voters in Miami Beach approved a ballot measure that would offer survivor benefits to the domestic partners of police officers and firefighters [R1.1].

2.

Courts & Tribunals

On 18 July 2014, US District Court Judge Roy B Dalton granted a motion to strike the pleadings of Michael O'Quinn, dismiss the counterclaim and enter final judgment in favour of the Everything Devine Inc., in a dispute over the Will of Frances D Milstead and estate of Harris Glenn Milstead aka Divine. O'Quinn was alleged to have improperly taken over and misappropriated the Estate [C2.4], [R2.3].

On 05 August 2014, Circuit Judge Diana Lewis in the Circuit Court for Palm Beach County ordered that W Jason Simpson, as the spouse of the deceased Frank C Bangor, be appointed personal representative of the Florida estate of the deceased. The men were married in Delaware in 2013 [C2.2], [R2.1].

R1.1 Associated Press: Five Cities Vote on Gay-Rights Issues 07 NOV 01
C2.4 Order: Everything Devine Incorporated v. Michael O'Quinn No. 6:12-cv-1722-Orl-37DAB PDF 49.54kb, 18 JUL 14
R2.3 WaterMarkOnline: Dispute Over Gay Icon Divine’s Estate Settled 25 AUG 14
C2.2 Order: In Re: Estate of Frank C Bangor a/k/a Francis C Bangor No. 502014CP001857XXXXMB PDF 404.94kb, 05 AUG 14
R2.1 Palm Beach ruling supports gay marriage 05 AUG 14
Gender Identity, Intersex,
Transgender, Transexual

[?]
Legislation/Cases/References
1.

County

On 02 December 2014, Miami-Dade County County Commissioners passed an ordinance 8-3 (two absentees) amending the Human Rights Ordinance to protect citizens from discrimination on the basis of gender identity in housing, public accommodations and employment [R1.4].

On 20 August 2013, Pinellas County Board of County Commissioners voted 6-1 to add gender identity to the county's human rights ordinance, prohibiting most organizations in the county from discriminating against trans people in employment, housing and public accommodations (including access to public restrooms that are consistent with their gender identity and expression) [R1.3].

On 21 July 2011, Miami-Dade County school district added gender identity to its antiharassment and antibullying policy [R1.2].

On 19 May 2011, the Volusia County Council voted 6–1 to add sexual orientation and gender identity as forbidden grounds for discrimination under the County's ordinance prohibition discrimination in employment, public housing and public accommodations [R1.1].

2.

Cities & Towns

On 13 July 2016, the City of West Palm Beach was reported to have approved eligibility under the City's health plan with effect from 01 July, for both male-to-female and female-to-male employees of at least twelve months duration who have been diagnosed as having gender dysphoria, for certain procedures including pre- and post-surgical hormone therapy, orchiectomy, mastectomy, abdominal hysterectomy, vaginoplasty and vaginectomy [R2.8].

On 17 November 2014, the Sarasota City Commission unanimously voted to pass an amendment that will add gender identity and expression to its already in place human rights ordinance [R2.7].

On 06 October 2014, Sarasota City commissioners voted 5-0 to include transgender people to a list of protected classes in the city’s anti-discrimination code, subject to a final vote on a later date, when an updated ordinance that makes it clear that discrimination on the basis of gender also includes gender identity and expression is presented [R2.6].

On 11 August 2014, the Orlando City Council voted 7-0 to approve an amendment to the city's Human Rights Ordinance that adds “gender identity” as a protected class in the areas of housing, employment, and public accommodations [R2.5].

In January 2010, the Miami Beach Human Rights Commission voted to update its human relations ordinance to include language protecting transgender residents from discrimination [R2.4].

On 19 November 2009, the Tampa city council voted 5–1 to extend antidiscrimination protections to transgender individuals in employment, housing and public facilities [R2.3].

On 28 October 2009, The Tallahassee city commission agreed to add sexual orientation and gender identity to the city's antidiscrimination and antiharassment policies [R2.2].

On 06 January 2003, the Key West City Commission unanimously amended its human rights ordinance to include protection against discrimination based on "gender identity and expression'' in employment, housing, public accommodations and lending [R2.1].

Mayor Jimmy Weekley was expected to sign the ordinance into law shortly.

3.

Courts & Tribunals

On 28 September 2016, Leon Circuit Judge Karen Gievers ordered the Florida Department of Health to change the birth certificate of a 15-year-old Broward teenager from ''female'' to ''male'' [C3.4], [R3.3].

In February 2003, in a groundbreaking decision, Florida Circuit Court Judge Gerard O'Brien ruled that Michael Kantaras, a transgender man, was legally male and was legally married to his former wife Linda Kantaras [R3.2].

The court also awarded Michael primary custody of the two children he and Linda raised together during their marriage [R3.2].

[The court affirmed and relied upon the Australian Family Court decision in Re Kevin [C3.1].

R1.4 MiamiNewTimes: Miami-Dade Passes Transgender Inclusive Human Rights Ordinance 03 DEC 14
R1.3 WashingtonBlade: Florida county adopts trans ordinance 21 AUG 13
R1.2 The Advocate: Nation's Fourth-Largest School District Adds Gender Identity Protections 22 JUL 11
R1.1 Lesbian/Gay Law Notes: Sexual orientation and gender identity discrimination unlawful in Volusia County Council PDF 433.08kb, MAY 11 at page 117
2. Cities & Towns
R2.8 West Palm Beach Adds Trans Benefits to Employee Health Plan 13 JUL 16
R2.7 SFGN: Sarasota Unanimously Passes Measure Adding Transgender Protections 20 NOV 14
R2.6 Herald-Tribune: Sarasota's anti-discrimination code to include transgenders 06 OCT 14
R2.5 BuzzFeed: Orlando Unanimously Approves Transgender Non-Discrimination Protections 14 AUG 14
R2.4 The Advocate: Miami Beach Says No to Trans Discrimination 21 JAN 10
R2.3 The Advocate: Trans Protections Approved in Tampa 20 NOV 09
R2.2 The Advocate: Gay Rights Victories in Tallahassee 30 OCT 09
R2.1 Reuters: Key West Approves Transgender Rights Protection 09 JAN 03
3. Courts & Tribunals
C3.4 Final Order: Florida Department of Health etc. v. Certain Parents and Child No. 2016-CA-1529 PDF 2MB 28 SEP 16
R3.3 MiamiHerald: Transgender Broward teen wins right to change birth record from F to M 29 SEP 16
R3.2 National Center for Lesbian Rights: Florida Court Issues Historic Marriage and Custody Decision for Transgender Dad 21 FEB 03
C3.1 Family Court of Australia: In Re: Kevin
Hate, Serious Crimes Legislation/Cases/References
See also: [VIOLENCE]
1.

State

Since 1991, hate crimes based on sexual orientation have been considered an aggravating circumstance [R1.1].

2.

Courts & Tribunals

On 15 December 2015, Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Richard Hersch handed down a fairly light sentence against Andras Janos Vass, just over 140 months in state prison. Vass was found guilty human trafficking and racketeering on 09 April 2015. The two other men allegedly heading the sex ring Gabor Acs and Viktor Berki, are currently awaiting trial [C2.2], [R2.1].

R1.1 ILGA: State-Sponsored Homophobia PDF 382.87kb, MAY 08
C2.2 Case Information: Court Case No. F-14-022076-B HTML (Accessed 18 DEC 15)
R2.1 EdgeMedIaNetwork: Man Sentenced to 11 Years in Florida Prison for Gay Hungarian Sex-Slave Ring 17 DEC 15
Health, Medical Legislation/Cases/References
1.

Cities & Towns

On 03 January 2017, City of Boynton Beach reportedly voted unanimously to ban the practice of conversion therapy on minors. Also known as reparative therapy, conversion therapy involves changing one's sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression through aversion treatment [R1.7].

On 13 December 2016, the Lake Worth City Commission reportedly vote 5-0 to ban the practice of conversion therapy on children throughout the city [R1.6].

On October 2016, the City Commission of West Palm Beach unanimously passed the First Reading of Ordinance No. 4666-16 to ban conversion therapy for LGBT minors. A Public Hearing and Second Reading was scheduled for 07 November 2016 [R1.5].

On 23 August 2016, the City of Wilton Manors Commission the First Reading of Ordinance No. 2016-009 was unanimously passed. If the Ordinance is finally passed into law, it will prohibit licensed professionals from engaging in counseling that attempts to change a minor’s sexual orientation or gender identity. The penalty for violations is $200 for every day that the therapy takes place [R1.4].

On 13 July 2016, the City of West Palm Beach was reported to have approved eligibility under the City's health plan with effect from 01 July, for both male-to-female and female-to-male employees of at least twelve months duration who have been diagnosed as having gender dysphoria, for certain procedures including pre- and post-surgical hormone therapy, orchiectomy, mastectomy, abdominal hysterectomy, vaginoplasty and vaginectomy [R1.3].

On 11 June 2014, the City of Miami Beach Commission unanimously voted to offer transgender health and medical benefits to city employees - including include gender-reassignment surgery, such as mastectomies for female-to-male transgendered people, and hormone treatments - starting this October [R1.2].

On 02 June 2014, City of Lakeland commissioners approved 5-3 expanding healthcare coverage to the spouses of city employees, declining to expand benefits to the unmarried same-sex partners [R1.1[.

R1.7 SFGN: Boynton Beach Bans Conversion Therapy On Minors 05 JAN 16
R1.6 SFGN: A Unanimous Vote Bans Conversion Therapy in Lake Worth 21 DEC 16
R1.5 SFGN: West Palm Beach Moves To Ban Use of Conversion Therapies With Minors 25 OCT 16
R1.4 SFGN: Commission Bans LGBT Conversion Therapy 01 SEP 16
R1.3 West Palm Beach Adds Trans Benefits to Employee Health Plan 13 JUL 16
R1.2 WLRN: Miami Beach Will Offer Transgender Benefits This Fall 16 JUN 14
R1.1 TheLedger: Lakeland Commissioners Approve Benefits for Same-Sex Spouses 02 JUN 14
HIV / Aids Legislation/Cases/References
1.

State

Florida Statutes. Title XXIX Public Health. Chapter 384 Sexually Transmissable Diseases [L1.1]

(1) It is unlawful for any person who has chancroid, gonorrhea, granuloma inguinale, lymphogranuloma venereum, genital herpes simplex, chlamydia, nongonococcal urethritis (NGU), pelvic inflammatory disease (PID)/acute salpingitis, or syphilis … to have sexual intercourse with any other person, unless such other person has been informed of the presence of the sexually transmissible disease and has consented to the sexual intercourse.

(2) It is unlawful for any person who has human immunodeficiency virus infection … to have sexual intercourse with any other person, unless such other person has been informed of the presence of the sexually transmissible disease and has consented to the sexual intercourse.

2.

Courts & Tribunals

On 04 Februuary 2015, the Florida Supreme Court heard arguments on the definition of sexual intercourse in a test of a law requiring HIV-positive people to tell partners of their status. In 2011, Gary Debaun was charged with falsely telling a man he did not have the virus before they engaged in sex acts. Monroe County Circuit Judge Wayne Miller dismissed the case saying state law defined “sexual intercourse” as male-female genital penetration.The district appeals court overturned Miller's ruling and asked the Supreme Court to intervene [R2.7].

On 31 May 2013, Judge William D Palmer for the 5th District Court of Appeal reinstated a felony charge against Olympic equestrian star Darren Chiacchia, who is accused of failing to notify a (male) sex partner that he was HIV positive, rejecting the argument that “sexual intercourse”, for purposes of the statute, was defined as the female sex organ being penetrated by the male sex organ. Since the 5th DCA's opinion directly conflicts with that of the 2nd DCA, the Florida Supreme Court has been notified and could choose to resolve the conflict and provide a clear precedent [C2.6], [R2.5].

On 22 September 2011, Circuit Court Judge Hale Stancil dismissed the case (42-2010-CF-000284-AXXX-XX) against Darren Chiacchia, who was accused in early 2010 of having sex with another man while knowingly infected with the HIV virus, finding that the decision in L.A.P. v. State bound the Court. The District Attorney's Office reports it has filed a notice of intent to appeal [C2.4], [R2.3].

On 21 August 2011, the state attorney reportedly dropped charges in a Treasure Island case against Shan Steven Ortiz for failing to disclose his HIV-positive status to his partner of four years [R2.1]. See below.

On 10 June 2011, the 2nd District Court of Appeal ruled that the HIV-status disclosure law – section 384.24(2), Florida Statutes (2008) – did not apply in the case of a woman accused of having sex with another woman who failed to disclose her HIV-positive status. Because the law referenced "sexual intercourse" it could only be applied to heterosexual activity as the Court [in Green v. State, 765 So. 2d 910, 913 (Fla. 2d DCA 2000)] previously defined "sexual Intercourse" as "the penetration of the female sex organ by the male sex organ" [C2.2] [R2.1].

L1.1 Florida Statutes: Title XXIX Public Health: Chapter 384 Sexually Transmissable Diseases
R2.7 ReutersUS: Florida's top court to decide if gay sex constitutes 'intercourse' 04 FEB 15
C2.6 Opinion: State of Florida v. D.C. 5D11-3311 PDF 19.76kb, 31 MAY 13
R2.5 OcalaStarBanner: Appeals court reinstates HIV-related charge against equestrian star 31 MAY 13
C2.4 Florida 5th District Court of Appeal: State of Florida v. Darren M Chiacchia 5D11-3311 (Accessed 02 FEB 12)
R2.3 RMHP: Judge Dismisses Felony Against Chiacchia 23 SEP 11
C2.2 Florida 2nd District Court of Appeal: LAP v. State of Florida PDF 24.74kb, 10 JUN 11
R2.1 The Florida Independent: Court rules HIV disclosure law can only be used to charge heterosexuals 21 AUG 11
Homosexuality, Sodomy Legislation/Cases/References
1.

State

Florida law whilst gender neutral proscribes against sodomy.

2.

Courts & Tribunals

The June 2003 US Supreme Court ruling in Lawrence & Garner -v- Texas that a similar the law in Texas was an unconstitutional violation of privacy is thought to nullify or invalidate the Florida law [C2.1] [R2.1].

C2.1 US Supreme Court: Lawrence v. Texas, 539 U. S. 558 (2003) 26 JUN 03
R2.1 Associated Press: Supreme Court Strikes Down Gay Sex Ban 26 JUN 03
Marriage Legislation/Cases/References
1.

State

On 10 March 2016, Governor Rick Scott signed HB 43 or the Pastor Protection Act into law, effective 01 July. The Act provides that certain individuals and entities may not be required to solemnize a marriage or provide marriage-related goods, services, or accommodations if doing so would violate their sincerely held religious beliefs [R1.3].

On 26 June 2013, the US Supreme Court ruled 5-4 that same-sex couples have the constitutional right to marry and all states must fully recognize same-sex marriages lawfully performed in any jurisdiction [C3A.X], [R3A.X].

In November 2008, a ballot measure to ban gay marriage was passed, amending the State's constitution [R1.2].

Previously:

In 1996, on the second attempt, the Defense of Marriage Act amended the law in Florida to prohibit marriages between same-sex couples and the recognition of gay marriages in other states.


On 08 October 2014, the State Department of Health issued its first death certificate recognizing Arlene Goldberg as the surviving spouse of Carol Goldwasser (who married in New York in 2011) enabling Goldberg to get Goldwasser's Social Security survivor's benefits [R1.1].

2.

Cities & Towns

3.

Courts & Tribunals

A. Federal Courts

On 30 March 2016, US District Judge Robert L Hinkle issued a final judgment declaring the state of Florida's ban on marriages for same-sex couples unconstitutional and ordered an injunction against enforcement of the Florida Constitution, Article I, § 27; Florida Statutes § 741.212; and Florida Statutes § 741.04(1) [C3A11], [R3A10].

On 01 January 2015, US District Judge Robert Hinkle ruled that county court clerks have a legal duty to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples, but stopped short of ordering them to do so [C3A.9], [R3A.8].

On 19 December 2014, US Supreme Court issued an order declining to extend stay on federal court ruling striking down the Florida state ban on marriage equality. The stay will expire at the end of the day on 05 January 2015, at which point same-sex couples can legally begin marrying in the Sunshine State [C3A.7], [R3A.6].

On 03 December 2014, the US Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit denied the motion seeking an extension of the preliminary injunctions pending appeal of the judgment of US District Court Judge Robert L Hinkle in the Brenner v. Scott same-sex marriage case that found the State same-sex marriage ban unconstitutional. The Court noted the preliminary injunctions expire on 05 January 2015, meaning that in the absence of an appeal to the US Supreme Court same-sex couples may then seek to get married [C3A.5], [R3A.4].

On 04 September 2014, a joint notice of appeal to the US Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit was filed against the decisions in the Brenner v. Scott and Grimsley v. Scott cases [Nos. 14-14061-AA and 14-14066-AA] [C3A.3].

On 21 August 2014, US District Court Judge Robert L Hinkle granted a state-wide preliminary injunction in Brenner v. Scott preventing the state from enforcing the same-sex marriage ban. The decision is stayed pending Supreme Court action on several petitions for review in marriage cases that are pending [C3A.2], [R3A.1].

On 26 June 2013, the US Supreme Court ruled 5-4 that same-sex couples have the constitutional right to marry and all states must fully recognize same-sex marriages lawfully performed in any jurisdiction [C3A.X], [R3A.X].

B. State Courts

On 29 May 2015, the District Court of Appeal of Florida Second District reversed the Circuit Court for Hillsborough County opinion of Judge Laurel M Lee, referring to the reasons given in Brandon-Thomas v. Brandon-Thomas on 24 April 2015 - in effect re-stating that same-sex couple married outside the state have the right to get divorced - and remanded the case to the Circuit Court [C3b.28], [R3B.27].

On 24 April 2015, the Florida 2nd District Court of Appeal in a judgment that binds judges across the State, ruled that same-sex couples married outside the State have the right to get divorced [C3B.26], [R3B.25].

On 05 January 2015, Eleventh Judicial Circuit Court Judge Sarah I Zabel vacated the stay on her 25 July 2014 decision finding the state ban on same-sex marriage unconstitutional, enabling marriage licences to be obtained immediately [C3B.24], [R3B.23].

On 31 December 2014, Circuit Judge Timothy R Shea made an order granting the emergency petition for a declaratory judgment filed by the Orange County Clerk of Courts, finding the judgment in Brenner v. Scott overturning the ban on same-sex marriage unconsititutional was the law in Florida [C3B.22], [R3B.21].

On 24 December 2014, the Florida 3rd District Court of Appeal upheld the Circuit Court sua sponte (of its own accord) order of Judge George A Sarday made 12 July 2012 dismissing the petition of Sarah Oliver and Heather Stufflebeam seeking the dissolution of their marriage in Iowa on 17 August 2009. The constitutionality of the state prohibition of same-sex marriage was not raised or considered [C3B.20], [R3B.19].

On 17 December 2014, following his 08 December 2014 finding that Florida's gay marriage ban is unconstitutional because it violates the Fourth Amendment's guarantees of equal protection and due process, Circuit Court Judge Dale Cohen dissolved the 2002 Vermont marriage of Heather Brassner and Megan Lade [R3B.18].

On 08 December 2014, Broward County Circuit Court Judge Dale Cohen overturned Florida's ban on gay marriage for a second time after he vacated his 04 August first ruling on a legal technicality [C3B.17], [R3B.16].

On 09 September 2014, it was reported that Broward County Judge Dale Cohen vacated his 04 August decision [see C3B.10] that found Florida's gay-marriage ban was unconstitutional in the Heather Brassner v. Megan Lade divorce case saying, “ the Petitioner, Heather Brassner, has failed to comply with [state law] by failing to [give] notice [to] the Office of the Attorney General of these proceedings by either registered or certified mail”. Judge Cohen canceled a hearing to finalize the dissolution that was originally set for Wednesday, but said the parties can reschedule a hearing in the case [R3B.15].

On 05 September 2014, the Florida Supreme Court declined to hear the Mariama Monique Shaw v. Keiba Lynn Shaw divorce case No. 2D14-2384 referred directly from the Second District Court of Appeals without a hearing and remanded the case back to the Court of Appeals [C3B.14], [C3B.13], [R3B.12].

On 03 September 2014, the deadline passed for an appeal in the Broward Circuit Court divorce case between Heather Brassner and Megan Lake and Judge Cohen was expected finalize the first valid divorce in the State [R3B.11].

On 04 August 2014, Judge Dale C Cohen in the Circuit Court of the 17th Judicial Circuit ruled that the state's same-sex marriage ban unconstitutional in preventing state officials from recognizing legal civil unions and marriages performed outside of the state and granting Heather Brassner a dissolution of her civil union. The order was immediately stayed pending the outcome of expected appeals [C3B.10], [RB3.9].

On 25 July 2014, Judge Sarah Zabel in the Circuit Court for the Eleventh Judicial District ruled the State same-sex marriage ban violates the Due Process and Equal Protection Clauses of the United States Constitution and that Article 1, section 27 of Florida's Constitution is void and unenforceable. The ruling was stayed pending the outcome of an expected appeal [C3B.8], [R3B.7].

On 17 July 2014, Monroe County Circuit Court Judge Luis M Garcia overturned the state's constitutional ban on marriage equality. Attorney General Pam Bondi has appealed the decision, and is expected to seek a stay pending appeal to ensure no marriages take place [C3B.6], [R3B.5].

On 21 January 2014, a complaint was filed in the Circuit Court of the Eleventh Judicial Circuit, Miami-Dade County Florida, arguing that the state's laws barring same-sex couples from marriage violate the United States Constitution by denying them the legal protections and equal dignity that having the freedom to marry provides [C3B.4], [R3B.3].

In April 2004, six same-sex couples who were denied marriage licenses in Florida filed suit April 2004 asking a judge to overturn the state's ban on gay marriages [R3B.2].

In 2004, the group of gay couples decided to drop the lawsuits — a federal judge dismissed their claim challenging the Defense of Marriage Act [R3B.1].

1. State
R1.3 Florida Senate: HB43: Churches or Religious Organizations
R1.2 PinkNews.com: Gay Equality Rebuked as Same-sex Marriage Bans Pass in Florida and Arizona 05 NOV 08
R1.1 LGBTQnation: Florida issues first death certificate recognizing a same-sex couple 08 OCT14

3A. Federal Courts

C3A.11 Order Granting Summary Judgement: James Domer Brenner, et al. v. Rick Scott, Sloan Grimsley, et al. v. Rick Scott Nos. 4:14cv107-RH/CAS, 4:14cv138-RH/CAS PDF 282.59kn 30 MAR 16
R3A.10 ACLUofFlorida: Final Ruling in Federal Challenge to Florida Ban on Same-Sex Marriages Holds State’s Ban Unconstitutional 31 MAR 16
C3A.9 Order: James Domer Brenner, et al., v. Rick Scott, et al. No. 4:14-cv107-RH/CAS PDF 25.80kb, 01 JAN 15
R3A.8 SFGN: Judge: Clerks Have Duty to Issue Same-Sex Marriage Licenses 01 JAN 15
C3A.7 Order in Pending Case: Armstrong, John H., et al. v. Brenner, James, D, et al. No. 14A460 PDF 26.47kb, 19 DEC 14
R3A.6 HumanRights Campaign: No SCOTUS Stay Means Same-Sex Marriages Will Begin in Florida January 6 19 DEC 14
C3A.5 Order: James Domer Brenner v. John H Armstrong, et al., and Sloan Grimsley, et al., v. John H Armstrong, et al. No. 14-14061-AA PDF 26.02kb, 03 DEC 14
R3A.4 EqualityOnTrial: Eleventh Circuit denies stay in Florida marriage case 03 DEC 14
C3A.3 Notice: James Domer Brenner, et al., v. Rick Scott No. 4:14-cv-107-RH/CAS PDF 24.75kb, 04 SEP 14
C3A.2 Order: James Domer Brenner et al. v. Rick Scott et al and Sloan Grimsley et al v. Rick Scott et al. Nos. 4:14cv107-RH/CAS, 4:14cv138-RH/CAS PDF 212.89kb, 21 AUG 14
R3A.1 EqualityOnTrial: Federal judge issues order barring state from enforcing Florida same-sex marriage ban 21 AUG 14
C3A.X Opinion: Obergefell, et al v. Hodges et al No. 14-556 PDF 428.77kb, 26 JUN 15
R3A.X ScotusBlog: Opinion analysis: Marriage now open to same-sex couples 26 JUN 15

3B. State Courts

C3B.28 Opinion: Mariama Monique Changamire Shaw v. Kieba Lynn Shaw No. 2D14-2384 PDF 43.07kb, 29 MAY 15
R3B.27 PinkNews: Lesbian couple in Florida granted divorce 29 MAY 15
C3B.26 Opinion: Danielle Brandon-Thomas v. Krista Brandon-Thomas No. 2D14-761 PDF 105.68kb, 24 APR 15
R3B.25 TampaBayTimes: Florida appellate court upholds same-sex divorce 25 APR 15
C3B.24 Order: Catherine Pareto, et al., v. Harvey Ruvin, et al. 2014-1661-CA-01 PDF 60.02kb, 05 JAN 15
R3B.23 EdgeMediaNetwork: Miami Judge Approves Early Start to Florida's Gay Weddings 05 JAN 14
C3B.22 Order" Honorable Tiffany Moore Russell 2014-CA-13275-0 PDF 94.21KB, 31 DEC 14
R3B.21 LGBTQnation: Florida judge says Orlando official can issue same-sex marriage licenses 31 DEC 14
C3B.20 Opinion: Sarah Oliver v. Heather Ann Stufflebeam No. 3D12-2149 PDF 121.40kb, 24 DEC 14
R3B.19 PinkNews: Florida same-sex couple denied divorce 25 DEC 14
R3B.18 SFGN: First Florida Gay Divorce Granted By Judge 17 DEC 14
C3B.17 Order: In Re the Marriage of Heather Brassner and Megan E Lade No. 13-012058 (37) PDF 410.02kb, 08 DEC 14
R3B.16 GayStarNews: Florida judge overturns gay marriage ban for a second time 09 DEC 14
R3B.15 NBC6: Broward Judge Vacates Same-Sex Marriage Ruling 09 SEP 14
C3B.14 Disposition Order: Mariama Monique Shaw v. Keiba Lynn Shaw SC14-1664 PDF 25.84kb, 05 SEP 14
C3B.13 Certification of Order Requiring Immediate Resolution by the Supreme Court: Mariama Monique Shaw v. Keiba Lynn Shaw No. 2D14-2384 PDF 77.92kb, 27 AUG 14
R3B.12 SunSentinel: Florida Supreme Court declines to hear same-sex marriage case 05 SEP 14
R3B.11 TampaBayTimes: Pam Bondi won't appeal ruling against Florida's gay marriage ban 04 SEP 14
C3B.10 Order: In Re the Marriage of Heather Brassner and Megan E Lade No. 13-012057 (37) PDF 7.69MB, 04 AUG 14
R3B.9 EqualityOnTrial: Another Florida judge holds state’s same-sex marriage ban is unconstitutional 04 AUG 14
C3B.8 Order: Catherine Pareto, et al., v. Harvey Ruvin, et al. No. 14-1661 CA 24 PDF 611.22kb, 25 JUL 14
R3B.7 EqualityOnTrial: Florida judge strikes down state's same-sex marriage ban 25 JUL 14
C3B.6 Order: Aaron R Huntsman v. Amy Heavilin & State of Florida Case No. 2014-CA-305-K PDF 641.66kb, 17 JUL 14
R3B.5 EqualityOnTrial: Florida judge strikes down marriage equality ban, ruling applies to one county only 17 JUL 14
C3B.4 Complaint: Catherina Pareto & Ors v. Harvey Ruvin PDF 112.12kb, 21 JAN 14
R3B.3 EdgeOnTheNet: Six Same-Sex Couples File Lawsuit to Overturn Florida's Marriage Ban 21 JAN 14
R3B.2 Reuters: Couples Sue to End Florida's Gay Marriage Ban 15 APR 04
R3B.1 The Advocate: Challenge to Federal Marriage Ban Tossed Out 18-20 JUN 05
Parenting, Adoption, Fostering Legislation/Cases/References
1.

State

On 05 May 2016, the Department of Health instructed all hospitals and birthing centers in Florida to begin issuing birth certificates to married same-sex couples who have given birth to a child that list them as ''mother'' and ''father'' and the order is retroactive. In order to waive the $20 amendment fee listed, couples should contact Betty Shannon at the Office of Vital Statistics at: (904-359-6990), Betty.Shannon@flhealth.gov [R1.9].

On 11 June 2015, Governor Governor Rick Scott signed into law a bill that aims to increase adoptions and also repeals from statute a ban on gay people adopting children. The ban hasn't been enforced since 2010, when the Third District Court of Appeal ruled it unconstiutional [R1.8].

On 09 April 2015, the House of Representatives approved 75-38 bill HB7111 that would allow private adoption agencies to reject same-sex couples as potential parents on religious grounds. The Bill has yet to pass the Senate [R1.7].

On 11 March 2015, the Florida House of Representatives passed 68-50 bill HB 7013, which included a provision removing the now defunct [See Courts & Tribunals at C2.11] state law banning adoptions by lesbians and gay men. The Bill has yet to pass the Senate [R1.6].

On 22 October 2010, Attorney General Bill McCollum decided not to appeal the Gill case [R1.5]. Effectively, the ban on adoption by gay people was lifted as a consequence of the 3rd District Court of Appeal ruling on 22 September 2010 (below).

Previously:

In 1977, Florida law was amended to prohibit adoption by homosexuals [R1.4].

Florida law does not prevent homosexuals fostering children [R1.4].

See also: 2. Courts & Tribunals


On 09 February 2010, the Department of Children and Families agreed to provide health insurance, college tuition assistance, and other benefits to a teen adopted by a gay man [R1.3].


In September 2009, Adoption Quarterly published a study conducted by professors at the University of Texas at Arlington and at East Carolina University, using data from a survey of parents who adopted children through Florida's state child welfare agencies, as well as data on gay and lesbian adoptive couples nationally, providing further evidence of an intuitive truth: children adopted into gay families are every bit as emotionally healthy as straight couples' adoptees [R1.2].


In March 2009, state senator Nan Rich sponsored a bill to repeal a 1977 ruling against gays and lesbians adopting in Florida and another bill to grant judges the discretion to determine adoptions solely on "the best interests" of the child [R1.1].

2.

Courts & Tribunals

On 05 January 2017, lawyers for lead plaintiffs Kari and Deborah Chin and others and the state filed a document notifying US District Court Judge Robert Hinkle they had reach a settlement under which the state agreed to issue corrected birth certificates free of charge to the plaintiffs and to all same-sex couples who received incorrect documents. The state also pledged to apply the statute regarding birth certificates ''and any forms promulgated based on that statute to same-sex spouses in the same manner as they are applied to opposite-sex spouses''. The state also agreed to pay $55,000 to in legal fees and costs to the plaintiffs [C2.27], [C2.26], [R2.25].

On 11 January 2016, the US Supreme Court rejected an appeal by Peggy Willis against the lower court ruling, upheld by the Florida District Court of Appeals, that she had no parental right to the child conceived by her previous female partner Anne Marie Mobley. Willis asserted that her constitutional rights had been violated [R2.24].

On 21 May 2014, the Appeals Court ruled 3-1 in a public decision to overturn the trial judge's decision to undo the adoption agreed between the biological mother and her now separated partner, restoring the adopted mother's parental rights [C2.23], [R2.22].

On 07 November 2013, the Florida Supreme Court ruled that a woman who donated an egg to her lesbian partner has parental rights to the child, ordering a lower court to determine custody and visitation rights [C2.21], [R2.20].

On 18 June 2013,Judge Charles B Curry of the 10th Judicial Circuit Court gave final approval during a hearing in Bartow for Randy Vosburg and Nick Santamaria to adopt 11-year-old Francisco Santamaria Vosburg ("Frankie"), marking the first time a same-sex couple has been granted a two-parent adoption in Polk County [R2.19].

On 06 February 2013, 11th Judicial Circuit Court Judge Antonio Marin approved a private adoption allowing three people – a gay man and a married lesbian couple – to be the legal parents of their 23-month-old daughter, with the man granted visitation rights [R2.18].

On 05 July 2012, 11th Judicial Circuit Court Judge Cindy Lederman, directed that a "Certified Statement of Final Decree of Adoption" be modified to read "Parent 1" and Parent 2" and the issuance of a new birth certificate for the child after declaring the adoptee the legal child of two male same sex partners [C2.17].

On 14 November 2011, Martin County Judge Sherwood Bauer approved same-sex couple Jessie and Cooper Odell's adoption of their 9-year-old son George [R2.16].

On 27 October 2010, the Third District Appeals Court in Miami upheld a lower court's ruling to allow a lesbian to adopt a young relative who had been taken into foster care shortly after birth [C2.15], [R2.14].

On 12 October 2010, the Department of Children and Families decided not challenge a recent appeals court decision that struck down the state's 33-year-old ban on gays adopting children. The DCF will now amend its forms so prospective parents are not asked if they are gay. But the ban is not completely dead as attorney general, Bill McCollum, has until October 21 to appeal the case [C2.13], [R2.12].

On 22 September 2010, the 3rd District Court of Appeal ruled that the strict ban on adoption by gay people is unconstitutional, affirming a 2008 decision by a Miami-Dade County judge who found "no rational basis" for the ban when she approved the adoption of two young brothers by Martin Gill and his male partner. The decision is likely to be appealed to the Florida Supreme Court [C2.11] [R2.10].

In February 2010, State child-welfare administrators appealed the adoption of an infant foster child by a gay Hollywood woman – the second challenge to Florida's gay-adoption law currently under review [R2.9].

In January 2010, Miami-Dade circuit judge Maria Sampedro-Iglesia wrote, "There is no rational connection between sexual orientation and what is or is not in the best interest of a child,'' when she ruled that Vanessa Alenier could adopt a one-year-old family member as her son [R2.8].

In 13 May 2009, the court of appeals unanimously agreed that the Sunshine State must give full faith and credit to adoptions granted to same-sex couples by other states [R2.7]. The decision was expected to go into effect in about 30 days, or possibly longer, if the supporters of the second-parent adoption ban petition the Florida supreme court to take on the case [Ibid].


In November 2008, Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Cindy Lederman ruled that a gay man can adopt his two foster children, despite a state law banning homosexuals from adopting [R2.6]. The ruling may lead the state to appeal to the Florida Supreme Court Ibid.


In September 2008, a Circuit Court Judge ruled that an openly gay man can adopt a boy with special needs he has been fostering for the past seven years [R2.5].


In January 2005, the US Supreme Court in Florida refused to hear an appeal to overturn Florida's blanket ban on adoption by gays, singles and unmarried couples [R2.4].


In August 2001, US District Judge James Lawrence King upheld the prohibition, in a suit challenging the constitutionality of the law banning homosexual couples from adopting children. The judge accepted the state's claim that married straight households are best for the kids [R2.3].

The case was brought by Steven Lofton and Roger Croteau, Doug Houghton from Miami and Wayne Smith and Daniel Skahen from Key West.

The two gay couples who are foster parents challenged Florida's 16-year-old law. The case being heard before the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals [R2.2].


In July 1997, an effort by a lesbian Dade County jail guard to overturn a state law banning child adoptions by gay men and lesbians was rejected by a Broward County judge [R2.1].

R1.9 EqualityFloridaActionInc: Florida Department of Health Now Issuing Birth Certificates That List Married Same-Sex Spouses 17 MAY 16
R1.8 MiamiHerald: Governor Scott signs into law bill allowing gay parents to adopt 11 JUN 15
R1.7 GayStarNews: Florida state House of Reps approves bill allowing adoption agencies to discriminate against gay couples 10 APR 15
R1.6 ACLU: ACLU Cheers House Passage of Provision Removing Unconstitutional Anti-Gay Adoption Ban from Florida Law 11 MAR 15
R1.5 Office of the Attorney General of Florida: Florida Attorney General Releases Statement on Decision to Not Appeal the Gill Case 22 OCT 10
R1.4 Associated Press: Gay Man Challenging State Adoption Law May Lose Boy He Raised 22 JUL 01
R1.3 The Advocate: Florida Subsidizes Benefits for Gay Man's Adopted Son 11 FEB 10
R1.2 Realjock.com: Study Shows Children Adopted by Gay Couples are Emotionally Healthy 29 SEP 09
R1.1 PinkNews.co.uk: Florida bill will repeal gay adoption ban 12 MAR 09
Courts & Tribunals
C2.27 Plaintiffs' Motion for Summary Judgment: Kari and Deborah Chin et al. v. John H Armstrong and Anor No. 4:15-cv-0039-RH-CAS PDF 208.41kb 09 DEC 16
C2.26 Complaint: Kari and Deborah Chin et al. v. John H Armstrong and Anor No. 4:15-cv-0039-RH-CAS PDF 211.80kb 13 AUG 15
R2.25 Ocala.com: Settlement reached in birth certificates dispute 10 JAN 17
R2.24 PinkNews: US Supreme Court rejects unmarried lesbian’s appeal for parental rights 11 JAN 16
C2.23 Opinion: In the Matter of the Adoption of DPP etc No. 5D13-1766 PDF 80.83kb, 21 MAY 14
R2.22 News13: Legal victory for same-sex adoptive parents 23 MAY 14
C2.21 Opinion: D.M.T. v. T.M.H No. SC12-261 PDF 254.32kb, 06 NOV 13
R2.20 EdgeOnTheNet: Florida Supreme Court Settles Lesbian Custody Battle 07 NOV 13
R2.19 The Ledger: Same-Sex Couple Becomes First in Polk to Be Granted a Two-Parent Adoption 22 JUN 13
R2.18 Bradentron Herald: Miami judge OK’s plan for gay man, lesbian couple to be legal parents of young daughter 08 FEB 13
C2.17 Order & Final Judgment: In the Matter of [Redacted], a Minor 2012-16037 FC04, PDF 3.81MB, 05 JUL 12
R2.16 WPTV: After 33 years, same-sex adoption ban is lifted, allowing gay couple to adopt in Martin County 14 NOV 11
C2.15 Florida Department of Children and Families v. E.L.A f/k/a M.J.H., V.A., and the Guardian At Litem Program PDF 15.64kb, 27 OCT 10
R2.14 The Advocate: Florida Court Upholds Lesbian Adoption Ruling 28 OCT 10
C2.13 Opinion: Florida Department of Children and Families v. In re: Matter of Adoption of X.X.G. and N.R.G. PDF 106.75kb, 22 SEP 10
R2.12 The Advocate: Death Blow to Florida Adoption Ban? 12 OCT 10
C2.11 3rd District Court of Appeal: Florida Department of Children & Families vs. In re: Matter of Adoption of XXG and NRG No. 3D08–3044, PDF 106.75kb, 22 SEP 10
R2.10 365Gay.com: Court affirms overturning Florida gay adoption ban 22 SEP 10
R2.9 The Miami Herald: Florida challenges gay adoption in Hollywood case 18 FEB 10
R2.8 The Advocate: Miami Judge Rules for Gay Adoption 27 JAN 09
R2.7 The Advocate: Gay Adoption Win in Florida 13 MAY 09
R2.6 PinkMews.co.uk: Court Challenge Could End Florida's Ban on Gay Adoption 26 NOV 08
R2.5 PinkNews.co.uk: Judge Rules Florida's Ban on Gay Adoption is Unconstitutional 10 SEP 08
R2.4 MCV: Florida Sidesteps Gay Adoption Issue 14 JAN 05
R2.3 Reuters: U.S. Judge Upholds Florida Gay Adoption Ban 30 AUG 01
R2.2 Salt Lake Tribune: Lesbian Couple Challenging Gay Adoption Ban in Utah 07 JUL 03
R2.1 Frontiersweb Newsmagazine: Judge Rules Against Lesbian Who Wanted to Adopt Child 22 AUG 97
Confidentiality, Personal Safety, Privacy Law, Safety Online Legislation/Cases/References
1.

Courts & Tribunals

On 07 December 2016, Judge Anthony Black in the State Second District Court of Appeal ruled that there is no Fifth Amendment privilege against self-incrimination protecting iPhone passwords in the circumstances of the case. Aaron Stahl was charged with video voyeurism for allegedly extending his arm, holding an illuminated cellphone under a woman's skirt [C1.2], [R1.1].

C1.2 Opinion: State of Florida v. Aaron Stahl No. 2D14-4283 PDF 174.54kb 07 DEC 16
R1.1 DigitalTrends: State court rules Fifth Amendment rights don't apply to iPhone passcodes 25 DEC 16
Taxation Legislation/Cases/References
1.

Cities & Towns

On 05 June 2013, the Miami Beach City Commission unanimously passed a tax equity ordinance that allows the city to reimburse municipal employees in domestic partnerships who pay extra taxes on health benefits that married heterosexuals do not have to pay [R1.3].

On 09 May 2013, Miami Beach City Commission unanimously passed a Tax Equity Ordinance to reimburse City employees who are in domestic partnerships and are being taxed on the payments they make on their health insurance benefits. The final ordinance goes up for second reading and final passage on 08 June [R1.2].

On 29 April 2013, the City of West Palm Beach approved an ordinance that would provide funds to city employees in domestic partners to compensate them for the federal tax dollars they are forced to pay for health insurance benefits. Final approval is expected in two weeks [R1.1].

R1.3 Washington Blade: Miami Beach passes tax equity ordinance 05 JUN 13
R1.2 SFGN: Miami Beach Passes Tax Ordinance for Same-Sex Couples 09 MAY 13
R1.1 City of West Palm Beach: West Palm Beach Approves Historic Domestic Partnership Measure 29 APR 13
Violence, Bullying, Domestic Violence, Harassment, Vilification Legislation/Cases/References
See also: [HATE CRIMES]
1.

County

Effective 22 July 2011, Miami-Dade County schools will expressly protect gay and trans students from bullying or harassment under an amended policy that references sexual orientation and gender identity, reports the lobbying group Save Dade [R1.1].

2.

Courts & Tribunals

On 06 December 2016, the Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit overturned a lower-court ruling that supported the Lake County School Board's decision to block middle-schoolers from forming a gay-straight-alliance club to combat bullying, finding that the Equal Access Act - which requires federally funded secondary schools to treat all extracurricular clubs the same - applies to middle-school students [C2.8], [R2.7].

On 18 March 2013, the First District Court of Appeal found a statement on Timothy Ryan O'Leary's personal Facebook page which threatened death or serious bodily injury, constituted “sending” within the meaning and in violation of section 836.10, Florida Statutes [C2.6], [R2.5].

On 27 October 2011, US District Judge Kenneth A Marra granted the defendant’s motion for summary judgment concerning plaintiff 's Title IX claims premised on sex discrimination and pervasive harassment, finding that most of the abusive comments pertained to sexual orientation rather than sex, and therefore cannot form the basis of the plaintiff's Title IX claim. The Court noted that many of the comments based on sexual stereotyping were not made directly to the plaintiff. Because he was therefore unaware of the comments at the time they were made, they cannot form the basis of a claim [C2.4], [R2.3].

In August 2000, Circuit Judge Marc Gilner denied an applicant an order under the state domestic violence law that would keep a partner away from him, saying Florida law doesn't recognize same-sex relationships [R2.2].

In June 1999, a judge ruled that Florida's domestic violence law covers gay couples [R2.1].

R1.1 Lesbian / Gay Law Notes: Legislative Notes PDF 487.30kb, SEP 11 at 190
C2.8 Opinion: Carver Middle School Gay-Straight Alliance, et al. v. School Board of Lake County, Florida 15-14183 PDF 102.36kb 06 DEC 16
R2.7 OrlandoSentinel: ACLU: Appeals court ruling allows gay-straight-alliance clubs 06 DEC 16
C2.6 Opinion: Timothy Ryan O'Leary v. State of Florida 1D12-0975 PDF 18 MAR 13
R2.5 PinkNews: State appeals court makes key ruling in Facebook gay hate case 19 MAR 13
C2.4 Rodriguez v. Alpha Institute of South Florida 2011 WL 5103950 (S.D. Fla., October 27, 2011)
R2.3 Lesbian / Gay Law Notes: US District Court Turns Aside Title IX Claims of Victim of Gay Bullying Despite Prolonged Campaign of Homophobic Slurs PDF 423.20kb, 02 DEC 11 at 244
R2.2 Sarasota Herald-Tribune: Gay Couple, Legal Limbo 04 AUG 00
R2.1 Associated Press: Judge Says Law Covers Gay Couples 24 JUN 99

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