Shows & Panels
Shows & Panels
- The 2014 Big Picture on Cyber Security
- AFCEA Answers
- American Readiness: Renewable Power and Efficiency Technologies
- Ask the CIO
- Building the Hybrid Cloud
- Connected Government: How to Build and Procure Network Services for the Future
- Continuing Diagnostics and Mitigation: Discussion of Progress and Next Steps
- Delivering the Digital Government Mission
- Federal Executive Forum
- Federal News Radio's National Cyber Security Awareness Month Special Panel Discussion
- Federal Tech Talk
- The Future of Government Data Centers
- The Future of IT: How CIOs Can Enable the Service-Oriented Enterprise
- Government Perspectives on Mobility and the Cloud
- The Intersection: Where Technology Meets Transformation
- Maximizing ROI Through Data Center Consolidation
- Mitigating Insider Threats in Virtual & Cloud Environments
- Modern Mission Critical Series
- The New Generation of Database
- Reimagining the Next Generation of Government
- Targeting Advanced Threats: Proven Methods from Detection through Remediation
- Transformative Technology: Desktop Virtualization in Government
- The Truth About IT Opex and Software Defined Networking
- Air Traffic Management Transformation Report
- Cloud First Report
- General Dynamics IT Enterprise Center
- Gov Cloud Minute
- Government in Technology Series
- Homeland Security Cybersecurity Market Report
- National Cybersecurity Awareness Month
- Technology Insights
- The Cyber Security Report
- The Next Generation Cyber Security Experts
Shows & Panels
ACLU, gay couples seek Fla. marriage recognition
Thursday - 3/13/2014, 3:50pm EDT
AP Legal Affairs Writer
MIAMI BEACH, Fla. (AP) -- Eight gay couples and the American Civil Liberties Union have sued the state of Florida, arguing it is discriminating against the couples by not recognizing same-sex marriages performed in states where they are legal.
The lawsuit is the latest in a groundswell of challenges in the divisive gay marriage debate. Within the last 30 days, suits similar to the one in Florida have been filed in Alabama and Indiana. In Kentucky, a federal judge ordered the state to recognize same-sex marriages performed legally in other states and countries.
Sandra Newson, who is a plaintiff in the Florida lawsuit with her wife Denise Hueso, said the couple moved to Massachusetts from Miami so they could get married in 2009. They adopted a son, now 15, who has cerebral palsy and they decided to move back to South Florida, where they had more family to help care for him.
When they moved back, they lost legal recognition of their marriage and began encountering a host of difficulties, such as having to prove they are their son's parents during hospital stays and battling auto insurance companies for seemingly mundane things such as the marriage discount.
Newson said current Florida law undermines the commitment she and her partner made to each other.
"We want the state of Florida to recognize our marriage and our family," she said.
ACLU of Florida Executive Director Howard Simon said same-sex couples suffer discrimination in many ways. Examples include problems getting spouses covered by health insurance, difficulties with inheritance rules and retirement benefits, and problems with workers' compensation benefits.
"There is no rational reason for the discrimination that Florida inflicts on married couples," Simon said.
The lawsuit, filed late Wednesday in federal court in Tallahassee, names Gov. Rick Scott, Attorney General Pam Bondi and other top Florida officials. It asks a judge to declare Florida's refusal to recognize same-sex marriages as an unconstitutional violation of equal protection and due process rights, said ACLU attorney Daniel Tilley. The lawsuit also asks for a ruling requiring the state to recognize the marriages performed elsewhere.
State officials did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
Seventeen states and the District of Columbia allow gay marriage. A separate lawsuit filed earlier this year in Miami-Dade Circuit Court is challenging the ban on same-sex marriage that Florida voters added to the state constitution in 2008, one of many similar legal challenges around the country.
The Florida lawsuit follows a decision by Kentucky's attorney general earlier this month not to appeal a judge's ruling granting recognition to gay couples married in other states. Kentucky will pursue the appeal using outside lawyers.
Several federal judges have issued rulings in support of same-sex marriage since the U.S. Supreme Court's decision in June struck down part of the federal anti-gay marriage law. Two of the rulings -- striking down same-sex marriage bans in Utah and Oklahoma -- are being appealed to a federal appeals court in Denver.
Joining the ACLU and the gay couples in the Florida lawsuit is the SAVE organization, which advocates for rights and protections for people of all gender identities.
Follow Curt Anderson on Twitter: http://twitter.com/Miamicurt
Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.