Boynton Beach Gives Initial Approval to Gay-Inclusive Civil Rights Ordinance

Categories: LGBT News

Boynton Beach City commissioners unanimously approved, on first reading, for the city to adopt a civil rights ordinance. The ordinance would establish that Boynton Beach opposes discrimination based on race, nationality, disability, religion, sexual orientation, and gender identity, among factors.

It's another progressive move by the city that has steadily been pushing for equal rights across the board, particularly for the LGBT community.

Last year saw Boynton Beach extending benefits to city employees with domestic partners or same-sex spouses.

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What Does the Coming Supreme Court Ruling on Same-Sex Marriage Mean For Florida?

Categories: LGBT News

Photo by Monica McGivern

Last week, it was announced that the 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals will not move forward with Florida's gay marriage case until after the U.S. Supreme Court decides the issue nationally, which likely won't be happening until some time in June.

SCOTUS is set to hear and rule on four cases it took up -- from Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio, and Tennessee -- that challenge whether a state has the right to ban same-sex marriage.

But wait. Wasn't the same-sex marriage thing in Florida settled this year? Didn't the state start allowing same-sex couples to get married on January 7? Didn't Lance Bass just host a mass gay wedding in Fort Lauderdale last week? What does Florida have to do with those other states? What is going on? Why isn't this thing over?

Yes, a lot of us are probably confused by it all. But no worries. We're on it.

New Times spoke with attorney Steven Kramer, founder of Kramer Law of Orlando and Tampa and a legal expert on same-sex marriage issues, to get his expert legal analysis and get to the bottom of what this all means.

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Lance Bass Helps 100 Fort Lauderdale Gay Couples Get Married

Video by James Argyropoulos

On January 6, 2015, same-sex marriage became legal in Florida. Since that day, thousands of gay couples -- old and young, male and female -- have exchanged rings, said I do, and tied the knot.

But none of them did it quite like this.

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Lance Bass to Help Lead Mass Gay Wedding in Fort Lauderdale

Categories: LGBT News

Photo by Toglenn via Wikipedia Commons
Update: Check out our review of the wedding ceremony.

The Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention and Visitors Bureau is hosting a sunrise beach wedding and vow renewal ceremony for 100 LGBT and straight couples on Thursday, February 5, and former N'Sync pop artist Lance Bass will serve as the event's ambassador.

The event, dubbed "Love Is Love," was set up as a commemoration of the historic January 6 Florida marriage equality ruling and will be making television history when Bass and partner Michael Turchin's wedding is broadcast in the E! network special Lance Loves Michael: The Lance Bass Wedding. Lance and Michael were married in December.

See also: First Gay Couples Marry in Fort Lauderdale With Laughter and Tears

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Todd and Jeff Delmay, Hollywood's First Married Same-Sex Couple, To Attend State of the Union Address

Categories: LGBT News

Todd and Jeffrey Delmay (far left) will be attending tonight's State of the Union Address
One of the two couples who became the first to be legally married in Florida will be attending tonight's State of the Union Address in Washington D.C.

Hollywood residents Todd and Jeff Delmay were invited by congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Shultz to sit with her at President Obama's State of the Union Address, as representatives of not only the state, but of same-sex couples throughout the country.

Wasserman Schultz called the couple personally to be her guests.

See also: Sen. Eleanor Sobel to Honor Six Couples Who Challenged the Florida Same-Sex Marriage Ban

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U.S. Supreme Court To Determine Constitutionality of Gay Marriage

Categories: LGBT News

Photo by Ian Witlen
Today, the U.S. Supreme Court Justices have said they will determine this spring whether the Constitution requires all states to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples and whether every U.S. state must recognize same-sex marriages performed elsewhere.

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Sen. Eleanor Sobel to Honor Six Couples Who Challenged the Florida Same-Sex Marriage Ban

Categories: LGBT News

Brett Hufziger
Sen. Eleanor Sobel, who represents the 33rd District in Broward, will be honoring the six same-sex couples who sued the state last year over Florida's ban on same-sex marriage. The suit was key in ultimately lifting the ban on same-sex marriage in the state, which began issuing marriage licenses earlier this month.

The suit claimed that Florida's marriage ban could not stand in light of the 2013 ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court of Miami-Dade that the federal "Defense of Marriage Act" violates the federal constitutional guarantees of equal protection and due process. It was one of several lawsuits that brought down the marriage ban and is allowing same-sex couples to legally marry throughout the state.

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West Palm Beach Ranked Third-Queerest City in America

Categories: LGBT News

Michele Eve Sandberg
In a month that has been both historical and joyful for LGBT Florida comes some more good news: West Palm Beach comes in third in The Advocate 's Queerest Cities in America 2015 list.

While many immediately think of Fort Lauderdale when it comes to gayest cities in Florida, recent studies show that might not be the case. West Palm Beach has sneaked up the rankings and, according to The Advocate's list, is only one of three cities ranked (oddly enough, Gainesville and Orlando are also ranked).

The grading system used to determine the final list includes dividing the population to get a ranking based on per-capita LGBT results. For example, a city will get a point for trans-inclusive nondiscriminatory laws (which West Palm Beach has) or a point for every LGBT-friendly retirement community.

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Broward Congregation to Perform Mass Gay Weddings for Free Sunday

Categories: LGBT News

Photo by Monica McGivern
Same-sex couples make it official at the Broward County Courthouse.
In light of marriage equality coming to Florida, the River of Grass Unitarian Universalist Congregation (RoG) in Davie will be celebrating by performing free weddings for same-sex couples this Sunday.

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Marco Rubio Blasts Florida's Same-Sex Marriage Appeal While Insisting He's Not a Bigot

Photo by Michele Eve Sandberg
Marriage equality makes Rubio frown.
This week, Florida officially legalized same-sex marriage. And, in what is the least surprising news to come out of this historical moment, Sen. Marco Rubio has publicly decried it.

Rubio went the route of most politicians who are antigay but don't want to outright publicly oppose same-sex marriage and said that the courts should not have been the ones to decide whether gay Floridians could marry.

"If they wanted to change that law," Rubio told Politico the day after the same-sex marriage ban was lifted, "they should have gone to the Legislature or back to the Constitution and try to change it. I don't agree we should be trying to make those changes through the courts."

See also: Marco Rubio Remains on the Wrong Side of Gay Equality

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