In the News

A federal judge is being asked to allow same sex couples to marry in Florida in the wake of a decision by the U.S. Supreme Court.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Florida filed a motion Tuesday with U.S. District Judge Robert Hinkle. Hinkle previously ruled Florida's ban on gay marriage unconstitutional, but stayed the ruling until other cases around the country were resolved.

The U.S. Supreme Court decided this week to turn away appeals from five states seeking to prohibit gay and lesbian unions.

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.

Source: Sun Sentinel

Written by: Dan Sweeney

The U.S. Supreme Court's refusal to hear same-sex marriage appeals from five states means that in Florida, the final word on the subject will likely come from the federal appeals court or the state supreme court.

Supporters of same-sex marriage are asking the federal judge who overturned Florida's ban on same-sex marriages – and then promptly stayed his own decision – to now allow couples to get married.

Source: NBC Miami

"The Supreme Court let several rulings overturning state laws on gay marriage stand Monday which left other states, like Florida, in legal limbo."

Watch Equality Florida Deputy Director discuss what the U.S. Supreme Court's decision means for marriage in Florida by clicking here.

Written by: Teresa Stepzinski

Picture-perfect fall weather along with good food and fun drew thousands to the 2014 River City Pride Festival incelebration of diversity Sunday.

Written by: Staff Report

Tampa – With a unanimous vote, Hillsborough County Commissioners passed a law prohibiting workplace discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. The law, which became effective immediately, re-establishes protections that were eliminated in the 1990s, when that former commission repealed amendments to its human rights ordinance protecting the gay community.

Written by: Marty Rouse

HRC is proud to work alongside Equality Florida and Jacksonville Area Sexual Minority Youth Network (JASMYN) as part of the Jacksonville Coalition for Equality.

Together we hope to bring Jacksonville in line with every other major city in America with the passage of a fully-inclusive non-discrimination ordinance.

Written by: Al Everson

Transgender-rights advocates are asking the Volusia County School Board to allow students to use restrooms of their choosing.

Robert Byrd of Deltona described his son as “a strapping guy with facial hair” who was born female. After being harassed and even slapped in the girl’s bathroom at school, Byrd said, his son now uses the administrators’ restroom.

"For years my child has been required to use a bathroom separate from other students," Byrd said.

Source: Miami Herald

Written by: Steve Rothaus

FORT LAUDERDALE—The Board of Directors of the largest organization of businesses in Broward County, Fla., has approved a resolution in support of marriage equality, adding yet another collective voice on this important economic issue.


Written By: Brian Greig

PANAMA CITY - A group of local activists sponsored a town hall meeting Thursday night in support of gay rights. They believe the tide is turning in their favor in the legal battle over same sex marriages. One local coupe at tonight's meeting is part of a lawsuit to legalize gay marriages here in Florida.

Written by: Michael Van Sickler

TALLAHASSEE — Florida's ban on adoption by same-sex couples stood for 33 years before the 3rd District Court of Appeal overturned it as unconstitutional four years ago.


TALLAHASSEE- Florida’s ban on adoption by same sex couples stood for 33 years before the 3rd District Court of Appeal overturned it as unconstitutional four years ago.

Source: BuzzFeed

Written by: Tony Merevick

State officials in Florida filed appeals Thursday to a federal court ruling that found the state’s ban on marriage for same-sex couples unconstitutional.

LGBT advocates and marriage equality proponents had urged Republican Gov. Rick Scott to leave the Aug. 21 ruling unopposed in court. With no appeal in the cases, Brenner v. Scott and Grimsley v. Scott, advocates had hoped same-sex couples would be able to marry in the state as soon as later this month.

Written by: Mitch Perry

The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge continues to rage on, with the ALS Foundation reporting today that it has received just shy of $80 million ($79.7) in donations compared to $2.5 million during the same time period last year (July 29 to August 25). These donations have come from existing donors and 1.7 million new donors.

Source: MSNBC News

Written by: Steve Benen

For proponents of civil rights and marriage equality, the last year has been remarkably successful, though there have been some recent bumps in the road. A state court in Tennessee, for example, interrupted the winning streak last week, while the U.S. Supreme Court halted Virginia marriages that had been set to begin today.

Written by: Michael Kruse

The people in Florida fighting same-sex marriage are going to lose. Arc of the moral universe and whatnot.

Written By: Nadine Smith, CEO, Equality Florida

Written By: Samantha Rosenthal

Orlando – Changes to Chapter 57 the City of Orlando’s ordinance for protections against discrimination in employment, housing and public accommodations—were unanimously adopted Aug. 11 to now include protections for the transgender community.

By Chris Joesph

Even with four Florida judges ruling in the past three weeks that the ban on same-sex marriage is unconstitutional, State Attorney General Pam Bondi has stepped in to appeal and keep same-sex marriage illegal in Florida.