Florida

Florida legal documents designed to protect your family no matter your relationship status

Florida

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Rainbow Law has a document package designed to protect same-sex partners in Florida. We offer 9 unique Affordable Document Packages, Individual Legal Documents and FREE Advance Directives to help protect your rights and the rights of your family. To order a legal document package that complies with Florida law, hover your mouse over the “Buy A Package” link in the top menu and click on the package that best suits your needs in the drop-down list. If you’re not sure what package is right for you, click this link and we’ll help you figure out what you need.

Although the US Supreme Court has held that the federal government cannot discriminate against gay and lesbian couples legally married and living in a state that recognizes that marriage, lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) couples living in Florida are not legally recognized as spouses even if they were married in a marriage equality state or country.

Florida same-sex partners and family members may experience discrimination in many different ways. Some of them, like snubbing by your family of origin or by complete strangers in a social setting, can’t be dealt with legally; they require a set of adaptive behaviors, including education, humor, and a thick skin. But typical anti-discrimination laws do cover several areas.

Here is a run-down on Florida law affecting the LGBTQ community:

1 Recognition of Same-Sex Relationships: The state enacted legislation banning same-sex marriage. Since the passage of the Florida Amendment 2 in November 2008 by a vote of 61.9% in favor and 38.1% opposed, both same-sex marriage and civil union have been banned by Florida’s state constitution.

Amendment 2 added Article I Section 27 of the Florida constitution, which says:

Inasmuch as marriage is the legal union of only one man and one woman as husband and wife, no other legal union that is treated as marriage or the substantial equivalent thereof shall be valid or recognized.”

The counties of Broward County, Leon County, Miami-Dade County, Monroe County, Orange County, Palm Beach County, Pinellas County, and Volusia County, along with the cities of City of Clearwater, City of Gainesville, City of Key West, City of Kissimmee, City of Miami Beach, City of Orlando, City of Sarasota, City of St. Cloud, City of Tampa, City of Tavares, and City of West Palm Beach offer domestic partnership benefits to same-sex couples.

2 Adoption Law: In 1977, partly due to the anti-gay Save Our Children campaign led by Anita Bryant in Miami, the Florida Legislature passed a law specifically prohibiting gays from adopting children; the statute survived several court challenges, and was upheld by the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit as recently as 2004.

However, in 2010 in a case involving a gay couple raising two foster children whom they wanted to adopt, a state appeals court upheld the ruling by a lower court that the law violated equal protection rights of the couple and the children under the Florida Constitution. The Governor and Attorney General declined to appeal the ruling further, thus ending Florida’s 33-year-old ban on same-sex adoptions.

As of 2013, however, the 1977 prohibition on gay adoption remained part of Florida Statutes.

3 Anti-Discrimination Law: Florida state law does not address discrimination based on gender identity or sexual orientation.

The counties of Broward, Leon, Monroe, Orange, Palm Beach, and Volusia along with the cities of Dunedin, Gainesville, Gulfport, Key West, Lake Worth, Largo, Miami Beach, Oakland Park, Tallahassee, Tampa, Tequesta, Venice, West Palm Beach, and Wilton Manors prohibit discrimination in employment for sexual orientation and gender identity.

The counties of Miami-Dade, Pinellas, and Sarasota, along with the cities and towns of Delray Beach, Fort Lauderdale, Orlando, Palm Beach Gardens, Sarasota, and St. Petersburg Juno Beach, Hypoluxo, Jupiter, Royal Palm Beach prohibit discrimination in employment for sexual orientation only.

Florida’s hate crimes law covers hate crimes based on sexual orientation but not gender identity.

4 Sodomy Law: Same-sex sexual activity remained illegal in Florida until 2003, when the United States Supreme Court struck down all state sodomy laws with Lawrence v. Texas.As of 2013, the state’s sodomy law, though unenforceable, had not been repealed by Florida legislators.
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