In a momentous decision this morning, Circuit Court Judge Sarah Zabel ruled that same-sex marriages can commence immediately! Couples are exercising their right to marry as we speak!
“In the big picture, does it really matter whether or not I lift the stay or leave it until tomorrow?” she asked at the hearing in downtown Miami. “I’m lifting the stay.”
It's a poetic result in a fight we started in Miami-Dade County: the freedom to marry in Florida has arrived in our backyard FIRST! We congratulate the plaintiffs, community members and fellow organizations that helped achieve this amazing win for equality.
In light of today's decision, we will perform marriages at our commemorative event tomorrow.
Join us to RENEW YOUR VOWS or GET MARRIED!
Longtime LGBT attorney & activist Liz Schwartz, as well as attorney & federal plaintiff Richard Milstein, will be on hand to officiate marriages.
If you would like to marry as part of our ceremony, YOU MUST bring your marriage license, photo ID, and premarital course waiver.
Questions about what to do now that the freedom to marry has arrived in Florida?
This guide includes information on what you need to know to get married or have your marriage recognized in Florida.
What do I need in order to obtain a marriage license?
To obtain a marriage license, both partners should bring a picture ID such as a driver’s license, state ID card, military ID card, or valid passport to your County Clerk of Court’s office.
Any individual who has been issued a Social Security Number must provide it, but individuals do not need to bring their Social Security Cards. An individual who is not a U.S. citizen may provide an “alien registration number” or another form of identification, such as a U.S. driver’s license number or foreign passport.
There is a fee of $93.50 for obtaining a marriage license. This can be reduced by completing a licensed pre-marital counseling course.
Where is my County Clerk’s office?
The State of Florida has put together this listing of the contact information for Florida’s 67 County Clerks of Court.
Do both persons need to appear in the clerk’s office to obtain the license?
Generally, the answer is yes. If one of the persons to be married is not able to go in person because of illness or other reason, he or she should contact the clerk in advance to see if special arrangements can be made.
Will I be able to marry right away when I receive my license?
Florida law requires that Florida residents wait three days between the issuance of a marriage license and the license becoming effective. The 3-day waiting period does not apply if both applicants are non-residents.
The 3-day period can be waived by completing a premarital counseling course or by filing a motion with the County Court asserting hardship.
Can I get married any time after I receive my license?
A Florida marriage license is valid for 60 days after it is issued. The marriage ceremony must take place before this 60 days has expired.
Can I get married in any Florida county?
You should be able to. On January 1st, the U.S. District Judge in our marriage case issued an “Order on the Scope of the Preliminary Injunction” which clarifies that the Constitution requires all Florida clerks to begin issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples when the stay expires. The order is available here.
A Florida marriage license can be issued by any county, regardless of where you or your partner reside.
What if the clerk at my county turns me away or is not ready to issue licenses to same-sex couples as soon as the stay expires?
If your county clerk is unwilling to provide marriage licenses to same-sex couples, please contact us using this form to let us know. The ACLU is committed to ensuring that lesbian and gay couples can get marriage licenses in all of Florida’s 67 counties. Moreover, if you are denied a marriage license, you can go to another Florida County to get a license.
Who can officiate my wedding?
According to Florida law, “All regularly ordained ministers of the gospel or elders in communion with some church, or other ordained clergy, and all judicial officers, including retired judicial officers, clerks of the circuit courts, and notaries public of this state” may perform a marriage.
We were married out of state but live in Florida. Do we need to marry again in Florida for the state to recognize our marriage?
No. If you were legally married in another state, you do not need to marry again in Florida. Our lawsuit specifically addressed the issue of recognizing marriages performed outside of Florida, and your marriage should be recognized in the state when the stay expires. To obtain certain benefits, however—such as adding your spouse to your health-insurance plan or making certain pension-benefit designations—you will need to take action (usually filling out and submitting a form), just as a different-sex couple would be required to do. The process for doing so will be the same as for a different-sex couple.
Today, federal district court Judge Robert Hinkle, who is presiding over SAVE & the ACLU of Florida's marriage lawsuit, ruled that all 67 Florida county clerks must start issuing marriage licenses on January 6!
The order clarifies that the U.S. Constitution requires all clerks to issue marriage licenses to all applicants, regardless of gender.
“The preliminary injunction now in effect thus does not require the Clerk to issue licenses to other applicants,” Hinkle wrote in an order released Thursday afternoon. “But as set out in the order that announced issuance of the preliminary injunction, the Constitution requires the Clerk to issue such licenses.”
The ruling was prompted by legal stall tactics from Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi, who raised questions about the reach of the ruling after the U.S. Supreme Court denied her request to delay our victorious ruling from this summer.
Finally, loving and committed gay and lesbian Floridian couples will have the same freedom to marry as those in 35 other states.
Will you mark the historic occasion with us?
Scroll down for more info.
Please mark the arrival of the freedom to marry in the Sunshine State by joining us at this elegant ceremony on January 6:
In a momentous decision for our Sunshine State, we've just learned that the United States Supreme Court has declined to extend the hold on the favorable ruling on marriage equality in SAVE and the ACLU of Florida's lawsuit.
What does this mean?
We WON our case for marriage!
Marriage equality will arrive in Florida on January 6!
It's a truly historic day for love and a historic day for Florida -- and we couldn't have done it without your help.
Thank you for helping make 2014 our most successful ever for LGBT equality in Florida.
To even more progress in 2015,
Tony Lima, Executive Director, SAVE
P.S. -- Will you help us keep up the unprecedented momentum going into 2015?
The State of Florida has appealed the victorious ruling in SAVE and the ACLU's federal marriage equality case to the U.S. Supreme Court.
It's sad, given how hard Governor Scott, his appointees, and Attorney General Bondi have fought to keep loving and committed couples from getting married and having their marriages recognized in Florida, that they would keep up this dead-end fight. And with just weeks until the ruling is scheduled to go into effect, it's especially disappointing.
Florida families have waited long enough for the end of a ban that a federal court has declared unconstitutional. Since October, the Supreme Court has refused all requests to stay rulings striking down the exclusion of same-sex couples from marriage in other states.
We are hopeful they will do the same here so that loving couples and their children can get the protections for which they have waited so long. We won't stop until we've won the rights we deserve.