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

Categories: LGBT News

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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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Miami Catholic Archbishop Hints He'll Fire Employees Who Publicly Support Gay Marraige

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Monica McGivern
Same-sex couple after getting their marriage liscence at midnight at the Broward County Courthouse.
With Florida basking in the glow of a historical day in which same-sex couples were granted the right to be married, two opposing views have emerged from the state's Roman Catholic leadership.

In one corner, we get the archbishop of Miami, Thomas Wenski, sending out a letter threatening to fire any employee who shows public support for marriage equality. In the other, Bishop Robert N. Lynch of the Roman Catholic Diocese of St. Petersburg, writing an op-ed piece for the Tampa Bay Times calling for Catholics to have more compassion for same-sex couples looking for marriage equality.

See also: Everything You Need to Know About Gay Marriage in Florida

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Pam Bondi Urged to Direct State Agencies to Recognize Same-Sex Marriages

Categories: LGBT News

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With clerks handing out marriage licenses to same-sex couples today all across the state, Attorney General Pam Bondi -- who has spent a lot of time and energy trying to keep the same-sex marriage ban in Florida intact -- has come out with a lukewarm endorsement of the overturning of the ban.

"The judge has ruled, and we wish these couples the best,'' Bondi's office said in a statement Monday.

The statement was given by a Bondi spokesman and not by Bondi herself.

And that isn't enough for the National Center for Lesbian Rights, which has sent a letter to Bondi, calling on her to direct all state agencies to immediately recognize all married couples.

See also: Gay Marriage Begins in Florida

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First Gay Couples Marry in Fort Lauderdale With Laughter and Tears

Categories: LGBT News

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Monica McGivern

Everything seemed quiet outside the courthouse in downtown Fort Lauderdale just before midnight. The only thing that hinted that there might be something monumental going on inside was the presence of about a dozen cops scattered around the entrance.

In a huge waiting room on the third floor, about 300 people hugged and kissed and hugged some more. They gathered, with numbered tickets in hand, for their chance to get married to the people they love. Today, January 6, 2015, is the first day that same-sex couples can legally marry in Florida. And these folks -- mostly couples, a few with friends, some who'd been waiting decades, others just months -- were ready to tie the knot the old-fashioned way, with a group of strangers turned friends and some pretty terrible wedding music blasting from speakers.

We happened to literally walk into the first gay couples trotting down the stairs to get their marriage licenses on the second floor. Their numbers had been called, and they were on their way to pay their dues and form legal unions.

See also: Gay Marriage Begins in Broward County (Photos)


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VIDEO: For South Florida's Gay Couples, the Right to Marry Is Long Overdue

Video by Mitchel Worley

In 50 years -- when we're all commuting via hoverboard and drinking the carbonated beverages of our wildest dreams -- we'll likely wonder: How?

How could it take us so long to legalize gay marriage?

And -- in the same way we look upon the grainy black and white footage of the 1960s' segregation protests -- we'll likely have no good answer.

See also: Gay Marriage Begins in Broward County (Photos)


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