The historic legalization of same sex marriage in Florida is hitting home for Pensacola couple Sarah Humlie and Lindsay Myers. Although they married out of state in 2012, they were plaintiffs in the ACLU case to end Florida’s long-held ban. Sandra Averhart spoke with Humlie and Myers, who happens to be a colleague at WUWF.
Sandra Averhart (SA): Well, it's been a few days since the news that the stay would end, allowing marriage licenses in Florida to be issued for the first time Tuesday. What are your thoughts now, several days later, on this ruling?
As of Tuesday, Florida becomes the 36th state, along with the District of Columbia, to allow same-sex marriages.
In 2008, Florida voters approved a state constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage. But a series of court rulings found the ban to be a violation of the U.S. Constitution's 14th Amendment guarantees of equal treatment and due process.
A federal appeals court has refused to extend past January 5 a stay in the ruling that declares unconstitutional Florida's ban on gay marriage.
In August, Tallahassee Federal Judge Robert Hinkle joined a number of other judges, in ruling that the state constitutional amendment banning gay marriage, approved by Florida voters in 2008, violates the equal protection clause of the U.S. Constitution. He said next month’s deadline is adequate for appeals to be considered, before any same-sex marriage licenses are issued.
In an election-year U-turn, Gov. Rick Scott's administration is dropping a problematic voter purge aimed at keeping non-U.S. citizens from casting ballots.
Scott first pushed to have the state look for non-U.S. citizens on the rolls before the 2012 election. But many election supervisors, however, wound up not removing anyone after questions arose about the law and the accuracy of the list.
Beginning Tuesday cohabitating unmarried adults, gay and straight, will be able to register as domestic partners with the City of Pensacola.
Ordinance number 41-13 was approved in December, setting up a Domestic Partnership Registry, or DPR, and providing registered domestic partners with various rights and benefits. Sponsored by Councilman Larry B. Johnson, the DPR will also be open to those who live outside the Pensacola city limits.
On an 8-1 vote in mid-December, the Pensacola City Council approved a domestic partnership registry – or DPR – which will ensure a number of rights to hundreds of unmarried couples.
Sponsored by Councilman Larry B. Johnson, the DPR will be open to cohabiting, unmarried adults — both gay and straight — to register as domestic partners. Those who live outside the Pensacola city limits are also eligible. Applications are expected to be accepted beginning in March, for a fee which – along with other nuts and bolts – will be determined between now and then.
A settlement is in place between the American Civil Liberties Union and the Florida Department of Corrections, regarding inmate housing at the Santa Rosa Correctional Institution in Milton.
In its lawsuit filed in August, the ACLU claims it requested from the Department of Corrections last November two years’ worth of demographic and housing records concerning the Santa Rosa Correctional Institute. DOC rejected the request in April.