FLORIDA: Activists Urge Bondi To Instruct State Agencies On Marriage Rights

The National Center for Lesbian Rights and Equality Florida today issued a joint letter in which they urge Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi to instruct state agencies regarding the rights of married same-sex couples.

Dear Attorney General Bondi:
As counsel for the Plaintiffs in Pareto v. Ruvin, we write to request that your office immediately advise all state agencies in Florida that they are required under the orders issued by Judge Zabel on July 25, 2014 and January 5, 2015, and by Judge Hinkle on August 21, 2015 and January 1, 2015 in Brenner v. Scott, to recognize the marriages of same-sex couples. [snip]

As a result of Judge Zabel’s declarations and today’s order lifting the previously entered stay, all agencies of the State of Florida are immediately required to recognize the marriages of same-sex couples entered into in Florida. In addition, because of Judge Hinkle’s preliminary injunction in Brenner, Florida officials must recognize the out-of-state marriages of same-sex couples beginning January 6, 2015.

We urge your office immediately to advise all state agencies of these requirements. We also urge you to issue a public statement making clear that, as of today, the State of Florida will recognize for all purposes the marriages of same-sex couples. Because of urgent circumstances facing same-sex couples in Florida who are expecting babies just days from now, we particularly request that your office instruct the Florida Bureau of Vital Statistics to inform health care facilities that, if a child is born to married same-sex parents, both parents are entitled to be listed on the child’s birth certificate. This is a matter of extreme urgency and constitutional imperative, and we urge your office to act expeditiously on this matter.

If anybody runs into any problems, I’d advise contacting Equality Florida at once.