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Content about Florida

January 21, 2015

Todd and Jeff Delmay were among plaintiffs in case challenging Florida’s ban on same-sex marriage

It's been a heady month for Florida newlyweds Todd and Jeff Delmay who became the second same-sex couple in their state to legally marry.

Tonight, they are in Washington DC to attend President Barack Obama's State of the Union Address before members of the US Senate and House of Representatives.

They have been invited by Democratic Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz.

'We are over the moon with excitement,' Todd Delmay said in a statement from Equality Florida.

January 13, 2015

Legatus believes homosexuality is a 'disorder' that can be 'cured'

Forrest Gump actor Gary Sinise has pulled out of the annual conference of a Catholic business organization that believes homosexuality is a 'disorder' that can be ‘cured.'

The Oscar-nominated veterans activist today (13 January) said he did not know about Legatus' 'views on personal matters' when he agreed to speak at the summit.

'For me, faith has been a catalyst for my mission to honor the men and women who serve in our nation’s military,' he said.

January 10, 2015

'Sometimes we just go with what is tradition. We don't second-guess it, we don't doubt it'

A former Florida A&M University band member was sentenced to over six years in prison for being the 'ringleader' in the 2011 hazing death of the band's drum major, Robert Champion.

On 9 January, Orange Circuit Judge Renee Roche announced the decision against Dante Martin.

In 2014 October, a jury took about an hour to find Martin guilty of Champion's (pictured) death.

January 10, 2015

'Sometimes we just go with what is tradition. We don't second-guess it, we don't doubt it'

A former Florida A&M University band member was sentenced to over six years in prison for being the 'ringleader' in the 2011 hazing death of the band's drum major, Robert Champion.

On 9 January, Orange Circuit Judge Renee Roche announced the decision against Dante Martin.

In 2014 October, a jury took about an hour to find Martin guilty of Champion's (pictured) death.

January 8, 2015

Staff are warned to 'exercise discretion' when using social media

The Archdiocese of Miami has threatened to fire employees who openly show support for gay marriage, on the same day the first same-sex marriage licenses were issued in Florida.

The Archbishop of Miami, Thomas Wenski, Tuesday (6 January) sent a letter to staff warning them that they could be sacked for unCatholic behavior – even outside of work and on social media.

January 8, 2015

Staff are warned to 'exercise discretion' when using social media

The Archdiocese of Miami has threatened to fire employees who openly show support for gay marriage, on the same day the first same-sex marriage licenses were issued in Florida.

The Archbishop of Miami, Thomas Wenski, Tuesday (6 January) sent a letter to staff warning them that they could be sacked for unCatholic behavior – even outside of work and on social media.

January 8, 2015

Florida Republican: 'I don’t agree the courts have the power to do this'

Marco Rubio, one of the two US senators from Florida, is not happy that same-sex marriage is now legal in his state.

The Republican is lashing out against the courts that struck down the state's gay marriage ban and opened the gates for hundreds of same-sex couples to get married this week.

January 8, 2015

Florida Republican: 'I don’t agree the courts have the power to do this'

Marco Rubio, one of the two US senators from Florida, is not happy that same-sex marriage is now legal in his state.

The Republican is lashing out against the courts that struck down the state's gay marriage ban and opened the gates for hundreds of same-sex couples to get married this week.

January 7, 2015

Blockbuster queer destination will see gay and straight couples marry alongside each other at huge event

A mass beach wedding will take place in the city of Fort Lauderdale, to mark the introduction of gay marriage in the state of Florida this week.

To mark the change in law, the Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau has launched the 'Love is Love' initiative – an event which will see gay and straight couples married alongside each other.

January 7, 2015

Blockbuster queer destination will see gay and straight couples marry alongside each other at huge event

A mass beach wedding will take place in the city of Fort Lauderdale, to mark the introduction of gay marriage in the state of Florida this week.

To mark the change in law, the Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau has launched the 'Love is Love' initiative – an event which will see gay and straight couples married alongside each other.

January 7, 2015

Some ceremonies took place just after midnight

Hundreds of same-sex couples were married in Florida on Tuesday (6 January), the first full day that gay marriage was legal across the state.

By day's end, just over 100 licenses had been issued in Miami-Dade County which began performing ceremonies on Monday (5 January) - a day earlier than any other county.

January 7, 2015

Some ceremonies took place just after midnight

Hundreds of same-sex couples were married in Florida on Tuesday (6 January), the first full day that gay marriage was legal across the state.

By day's end, just over 100 licenses had been issued in Miami-Dade County which began performing ceremonies on Monday (5 January) - a day earlier than any other county.

January 7, 2015

There's no need for love potions with this couple

A magical gay couple have just got engaged at Hogwarts in Universal Orlando, Florida.

Nicholas, 25, and Ben, 22, are a young couple who have been together for five years as of this past December.

It was really important to Nicholas that he propose in a place that felt special for them.

'I had planned the proposal since April, so about eight months,' he told Gay Star News.

'We are both HUGE Harry Potter fans and this would be the first year that he came down to Florida with my family.'

January 6, 2015

'I hope that we can show respect for the good people on all sides of the gay and lesbian marriage issue'

Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, eyeing a run for The White House in 2016, suffered some backlash this week when he said same-sex marriage is something that is voted on by the people.

Bush made the comment as Florida became the 36th state in the US to legalize same-sex marriage with couples getting married in Miami-Dade County on Monday (5 January) and in other counties starting today.

January 5, 2015

Tomorrow, rest of Florida to become 36th state in the US with marriage equality

Same-sex couples began getting married today in Florida's Miami-Dade County with other counties in the state expected to follow on Tuesday (6 January).

Judge Sarah Zabel of the Circuit Court of the Eleventh Judicial Circuit got things rolling by lifting a stay on her ruling - issued last July - that struck down the state's ban on gay marriage.

The courtroom erupted in cheers when Zabel asked if it would make a difference if she lifted the stay today or tomorrow. When told it would not make a difference she said: 'I'm lifting the stay.'

January 5, 2015

Tomorrow, rest of Florida to become 36th state in the US with marriage equality

Same-sex couples began getting married today in Florida's Miami-Dade County with other counties in the state expected to follow on Tuesday (6 January).

Judge Sarah Zabel of the Circuit Court of the Eleventh Judicial Circuit got things rolling by lifting a stay on her ruling - issued last July - that struck down the state's ban on gay marriage.

The courtroom erupted in cheers when Zabel asked if it would make a difference if she lifted the stay today or tomorrow. When told it would not make a difference she said: 'I'm lifting the stay.'

January 5, 2015

As same-sex couples begin getting married in Sunshine State, Bush says voters had already made feelings known

As Florida is poised to become the latest state in the US with same-sex marriage, its former governor says it's a decision that should not have never been left up to the courts.

Jeb Bush, who is considering a run for the Republican presidential nomination, said on Sunday (4 January): 'It ought be a local decision. I mean, a state decision. The state decided. The people of the state decided. But it’s been overturned by the courts, I guess.'

January 3, 2015

'My office will not stand in the way as clerks of court determine how to proceed'

It looks like Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi will not block LGBTI couples from marrying.

The southern state's legal advisor issued a statement in response to federal district Judge Robert Hinkle's ruling all Florida clerks must provide same-sex marriage certificates come 6 January.

January 2, 2015

‘Love your children’, says Deacon Ray Dever of St Paul Catholic Church, Tampa, Florida

The death last Sunday morning of Leelah Alcorn in Ohio has again led many to question the impact of religious doctrine upon the lives of LGBTI people.

‘We don't support that, religiously,’ said Carla Alcorn – Leelah’s mother – when asked by CNN reporter about her daughter’s desire to transition.

January 2, 2015

Clerks in several counties have said that they would feel so uncomfortable performing gay weddings that they have decided to end all courthouse marriage ceremonies: ‘So that there wouldn’t be any discrimination’

Yesterday, federal Judge Robert Hinkle decreed that all of Florida’s country clerks must issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples who request them from next week.

Ahead of that announcement, several of those country clerks announced that they intend to end courthouse weddings in their regions.

January 2, 2015

'There should be no debate...on the question whether a clerk of court may follow the ruling, even for marriage-license applicants who are not parties to this case'

A US federal judge wiped away all the confusion. Come 6 January, every single  county clerk in Florida must provide marriage certificates to qualified LGBTI couples.

Federal district Judge Robert Hinkle released his decision on 1 January.

In late 2014 August, the judge ruled the southern US state's ban on marriage equality was unconstitutional.

He put a hold on the finding to give the state time to appeal.

In the New Year's Day decree, Hinkle noted Florida had a number of appeals that were denied by higher courts.

January 1, 2015

Circuit Judge Timothy Shea ruled Wednesday that Orange County won’t be breaking the law if it issues marriage licenses to same-sex couples when Florida’s ban on same-sex marriage is lifted 6 January

A second Florida county will be able to start issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples next Tuesday after a judge clarified an earlier ruling.

The Florida Association of Court Clerks and Comptrollers had previously stated that it believed that only Washington County would be legally able to issue marriage licenses to gay couples starting 6 January when the state’s ban on same-sex marriage is lifted.

However Circuit Court Judge Timothy Shea ruled yesterday that Orange County could legally do so as of next Tuesday as well.

December 31, 2014

The conservative group have targeted three elected state officials who have said that they will officiate at gay weddings: ‘They’re just saying “let’s ride this wave of inevitability.”’

Despite the fact that the ban on same-sex marriage in Florida hasn’t yet been lifted a conservative group has already launched an anti-gay marriage lawsuit against a Floridian county clerk, mayor and judge.

As previously reported, a US District judge has ruled that the ban on same-sex marriage in Florida is unconstitutional. The ban is due to be lifted on 6 January.

December 30, 2014

37 American companies have signed onto an amicus brief backing the legalization of same-sex marriage in Florida by a United States District Court which is hearing an appeals case on the issue

Some of America’s best known companies have joined the case against Florida’s ban on same-sex marriage, signing onto an amicus, or ‘friend-of-the-court,’ brief signalling their interest in the case.

US District Judge Robert Hinkle court ruled Florida's same-sex marriage ban unconstitutional on 21 August. However that ruling appears to apply to just one Florida county.