John M. Becker

ACLU Sues Florida for Out-of-State Marriage Recognition

Filed By John M. Becker | March 13, 2014 10:30 AM | comments

Filed in: Living, Marriage Equality
Tags: ACLU, Florida, gay marriage, lawsuit, marriage discrimination, marriage equality, same-sex marriage

The American Civil Liberties Union announced a federal lawsuit against the state of Florida today that seeks to compel the state to recognize legal same-gender marriages performed elsewhere.

The suit was filed last night by the national and state chapters of the organization, on behalf of eight legally married same-sex couples and SAVE, a south Florida LGBT rights group.

Via press release:

One of the couples -- Sloan Grimsley, a firefighter from Palm Beach Gardens, and her wife Joyce Albu, a consultant assisting parents of children living with developmental disorders -- are seeking protections for their children, the youngest of whom is two years old. Sloan and Joyce have been together for 9 years and were married in August 2011 in New York. The couple is concerned that if something were to happen to Sloan in the line of duty, Joyce would not receive the support the state offers to spouses of first responders who make the ultimate sacrifice, and thus would struggle to provide for their family's needs.

"I'm proud of the work that I do protecting my community, but the law in Florida doesn't let me protect my own family," stated Grimsley. "We just want the peace of mind of knowing that those vows we took to care for one another aren't dependent on where we are."

..."All around the country, loving couples enjoy the rights and responsibilities that come with a marriage fully recognized by their state, and it's time Florida couples enjoyed that as well," stated Tony Lima, Executive Director of SAVE. "Why should couples who commit to love and care for one another lose protections for that relationship when they return to Florida? As representatives of the South Florida LGBT community, we believe all Floridians' marriages deserve the same dignity and respect and stand proudly with the other plaintiffs in saying that the protections embodied by the promise of marriage shouldn't disappear based on where you are."

Click here for biographies of all eight plaintiff couples.

In January, Equality Florida and the National Center for Lesbian Rights filed a separate suit in state court on behalf of couples seeking the invalidation of state laws banning same-gender marriage.

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