(From left to right) Florida Senate Democratic Leader Pro Tem Sen. Maria Lorts Sachs (D-Delray Beach), Florida House Democratic Leader Rep. Perry Thurston (D-Fort Lauderdale), Rep. Mark Pakford (D-West Palm Beach) and Rep. Katie Edwards (D-Plantation) listen to speakers at a town hall in Wilton Manors on Oct 28.
In conjunction with LGBT History Month, state legislators met Monday night to host what was billed as the state’s first town hall meeting specifically focused on lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) issues.
It was standing room only in Wilton Manors City Hall, where the room buzzed with enthusiasm fueled by this summer’s Supreme Court rulings striking down the Defense of Marriage Act and also allowing federal benefits for domestic partners.
It has been four months since the U.S. Supreme Court struck down a law that defined marriage as between a man and a woman. The ruling paved the way for thousands of same-sex married couples to receive federal benefits, and a special group of government lawyers has been working to make that happen.
More than 60 activists huddled in the shade during a rally on Sunday in support of an amendment to the Miami-Dade County human rights ordinance. They were joined by faith leaders including Temple Israel of Greater Miami, Unity on the Bay and All Souls' Episcopal Church.
Brian Mathers calls his husband, Isidro, in Mexico from his living room in Sioux City, Iowa. Brian and Isidro have been separated for more than a year by immigration laws that did not recognize their marriage.
Julian Marsh (left) and his husband, Traian "Tray" Popov (right) with their two Yorkies, Phoebe and Rosie. The two men are the first binational same-sex couple to have a marriage-based green card petition approved by U.S. Immigration officials.
Two Fort Lauderdale men are the first wedded same-sex couple recognized by the United States for a green card, winning their immigration battle two days after the Supreme Court ordered the federal government to honor gay marriages.
“We’re in the history books,” said Julian Marsh, a well-known gay music producer and DJ, who sponsored his Bulgarian-born husband, Traian “Tray” Popov, for a green card. “Oh my God, that’s totally amazing.”
On The Florida Roundup, we take a look at three big decisions out of Washington, D.C. this week: the U.S. Supreme Court decisions on gay marriage and the Voting Rights Act as well as the U.S. Senate's vote on the immigration bill.
Floridians in same-sex marriages and elsewhere hope to be indebted to Edith Windsor. She is the 84-year-old widow whose U.S. Supreme Court victory garnered equal federal rights for gay marriages this week.
Windsor nursed her ailing wife, Thea Spyer, until Spyer died of multiple sclerosis. Until recently gays and lesbians Florida often have not had the opportunity to provide loved ones that kind of care if family or hospital staff objected.
The dual victories the Supreme Court handed to gay-marriage supporters Wednesday seemed to temporarily shift the focus of the fight from Washington to the states.
For instance, one of the more notable reactions to the Supreme Court decisions overturning the Defense of Marriage Act and upholding a lower court ruling that blocked California's Proposition 8 from taking effect came from the American Civil Liberties Union.
The benefits will be substantial for those who get them, but the beneficiaries of the U. S. Supreme Court's decision to strike down the Federal Defense of Marriage Act are just a small subset of Florida's LGBT population.
They are the couples with marriage licenses from states where same-sex marriage is legal. Until now, DOMA prevented them from receiving tax breaks, Social Security, pension considerations and myriad other benefits that the federal government extends to married couples.