In the News

Source: Advocate

Written by: SUNNIVIE BRYDUM 

The woman whose lawsuit effectively dismantled the so-called Defense of Marriage Act, clearing the way for the federal government to recognize same-sex marriage, has a few words for one Republican governor stubbornly refusing to let marriage equality come to his state.

Written by: Meredith Rutland

A long-standing controversy about whether Jacksonville should alter its non-discrimination laws to include sexualorientation and gender is bound to be a contentious subject in this spring’s mayoral and City Council elections.

In 2012, the Jacksonville City Council voted against adding “sexual orientation, gender identity or expression” to the list of protected classes.The issue is expected to come up again in the City Council within the next year.

Source: WiOD

Written by: Lauren Munsey

It is a critical day for the marriage equality movement in the Sunshine State.

Attorney General Pam Bondi has until midnight tonight to respond to a federal judge's request to lift a stay and allow marriage licenses to be issued to same-sex couples in Florida.

The decision coming days after the U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear appeals of five circuit court rulings that found state gay marriage bans unconstitutional.

Written by: SAMANTHA ROSENTHAL

Deltona, Fla.- Two families are pushing back against Volusia School Board policies that prevent their transgender children from using restrooms and facilities aligned with their gender identities.

Source: News Press

Written by: Melanie Payne

Patty Chafatelli and Bonnie Bahr were married last year in Washington. Saturday was their one-year anniversary. What should have been a happy day was marred by grief. The two Cape Coral women were in New Jersey, making final arrangements for Chafatelli's mom Dorothy who died Oct. 10.

Bahr, who works for Lee County, has missed a week of work. And she needs to stay longer because the wet weather delayed the scheduled burial in the family plot in New Jersey, as Dorothy had wished.

Written by: Cindy Swirko

A newlywed who organized a mass wedding party, a midwife who is a new mother, a fighter for equality who is relatively new to Gainesville and a longtime magazine were the honorees at Friday night’s awards dinner put on by the Pride Community Center of North Central Florida.

Source: USF Oracle

Written by: Brandon Shaik

Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi turned heads Monday night when she demanded the Florida Supreme Court make a definitive decision on gay marriage in the Sunshine State.

Currently, gay marriage is legal in 29 U.S. states. Of these, 12 legalized gay marriage this month alone, according to CNN. Bondi is arguing that Florida’s citizens need a firm and permanent answer regarding gay marriage, as soon as possible, and she couldn’t be more right.

Supporters of LGBT equality will have an opportunity to meet and mingle with representatives of the civil rights organization Equality Florida next week at the Venice Theatre.

Equality Florida, which bills itself as "the largest civil rights organization in Florida dedicated to ending discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity," will host its first Equality Connection in Southwest Florida at 6 p.m. on Thursday.

Source: Miami Herald

Written by: STEVE ROTHAUS

Jazz Jennings, who at 14 already has become a nationally known transgender activist and author, this week achieved two new honors: Time magazine named her to the 2014 list of 25 Most Influential Teens and Equality Florida will present her with its Voice for Equality award.

Written by: Gary Fineout

Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi, who has repeatedly called it her duty to defend the state's ban on gay marriage, now wants the state's highest court to decide whether the constitutional amendment is legal.

Bondi's office filed a request late Monday with the 3rd District Court of Appeal in Miami that asks the court to immediately send two consolidated cases to the Florida Supreme Court for a decision. In both cases, judges declared the state's gay marriage ban unconstitutional.

Written by: David Breen

After an emotional hearing, Orange County commissioners voted Tuesday to support the legal battle on behalf of gay couples seeking marital rights in Florida.

Commissioners voted 5-2 to join friend-of-the-court or "amicus" briefs calling on judges to overturn Florida's ban on same-sex marriage. In so doing, the county joins the city of Orlando and other governments across the state, including Broward and Alachua counties and the cities of Miami Beach, Tampa and St. Petersburg.

Equality Florida's Michael Farmer discusses the U.S. Supreme Courts decision not to take up marriage case and let lower court rulings stand bringing the freedom to marry to over 11 new states.

To watch the full interview, click here. 

Source: Miami Herald

Written by: STEVE ROTHAUS

In a startling move Monday night, Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi said she wants the Florida Supreme Court to decide once-and-for-all whether same-sex couples can marry in the Sunshine State.

Source: Ocala.com

Written by: Bill Thompson

Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi on Monday said she would keep battling for the state's ban on same-sex marriage, saying it is her duty to do so until the issue reaches "finality."

Written by: Chris Joseph 

With same-sex marriage on the brink of being legalized in Florida or getting forever mired in litigation, advocates and gay rights groups have been using news releases and the media to call on Gov. Rick Scott to lift the ban.

Written by: Erin Sullivan

Here’s the good news: The multitude of legal rulings in Florida courts declaring the state’s constitutional ban on gay marriage, well, unconstitutional has made it clear that the tide is finally turning in favor of marriage equality.

Written by: Jonathan Kendall

In August, U.S. District Court Judge Robert Hinkle ruled on Grimsley and Albu v. Scott that Florida's ban on marriage for same-sex couples was unconstitutional and, despite a stay on his ruling, ordered the State of Florida to issue a new death certificate for Carol Goldwasser, naming Arlene Goldberg, her partner of 47 years, as her wife.

Written by: Katy Bergen

SARASOTA - City commissioners voted unanimously Monday to pursue including transgender people in a list of protected classes in the city's anti-discrimination code.

A final vote will be pushed to a later date, when city staff will present an updated ordinance that makes it clear that discrimination on the basis of gender also includes gender identity and expression, said city attorney Bob Fournier.