Florida Becomes the 36th State to Allow Same-Sex Marriage
On August 21st, 2014, U.S. District Court Judge, Robert L. Hinkle, in the case of Brenner v. Scott, ruled that Florida’s constitutional and statutory bans on same-sex marriage were unconstitutional. Same-sex couples were able to marry across the State of Florida beginning yesterday, the day that Judge Hinkle’s stay was lifted. The case is now on appeal with the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals, which presides over Alabama, Florida, and Georgia. To the extent the 11th Circuit hears this case and rules in favor of Judge Hinkle’s holding, same-sex marriage could become legal in both Alabama and Georgia, two of the 14 states that still do not recognize same-sex marriage. The 4th, 7th, 9th, and 10th Circuits have already ruled that any bans on same-sex marriage are unconstitutional, thereby legalizing same-sex marriage in the states that each of these Circuit Courts preside over.
This case is a huge win for same-sex couples, especially for the many same-sex spouses that live in New York and wish to relocate to Florida. Prior to this ruling, these couples faced many legal challenges, including, but not limited to, legal issues with intestacy, parenting, and adoption. These couples can now have peace of mind as they move forward to become “snowbirds.”
As the law continues to evolve on these matters, please note that this article is current as of date and time of publication and may not reflect subsequent developments. The content and interpretation of the issues addressed herein is subject to change. Cole Schotz P.C. disclaims any and all liability with respect to actions taken or not taken based on any or all of the contents of this publication to the fullest extent permitted by law. This is for general informational purposes and does not constitute legal advice or create an attorney-client relationship. Do not act or refrain from acting upon the information contained in this publication without obtaining legal, financial and tax advice. For further information, please do not hesitate to reach out to your firm contact or to any of the attorneys listed in this publication.