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A Comprehensive Guide to Same-sex Marriage in Florida: Celebrating Love and Equality

Updated: Jun 10

For couples in the LGBTQ+ community, the journey towards marriage equality has been a long and hard-fought battle. Fortunately, Florida has emerged as a welcoming destination for same-sex marriages, recognizing the love and commitment shared by all couples, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity. If you're considering tying the knot in the Sunshine State, this guide will provide you with all the essential information you need about same-sex marriage in Florida, from legal requirements to choosing the perfect venue for your special day.

Brief History of Same-sex Marriage in Florida

The road to marriage equality in Florida saw a significant milestone with the landmark Supreme Court decision in Obergefell v. Hodges in 2015. Although Florida had previously banned same-sex marriages through a constitutional amendment passed in 2008, the Obergefell ruling established the constitutional right for same-sex couples to marry nationwide. This Supreme Court decision effectively rendered Florida's ban unenforceable, paving the way for same-sex couples in the state to legally marry, despite the ban remaining on the books. The Obergefell v. Hodges ruling was a pivotal moment that ensured marriage equality for all, overriding any state-level restrictions on same-sex marriages.

However, the state's journey towards LGBTQ+ rights began much earlier. In 2010, Florida recognized same-sex marriages performed in other jurisdictions for the purpose of divorce proceedings. Additionally, several court rulings in 2014 paved the way for marriage equality by striking down the state's ban on same-sex marriages.

Since the legalization of same-sex marriage in Florida, the state has continued to make strides in protecting the rights of the LGBTQ+ community, including:

  • Passing the Florida Competitive Workforce Act in 2021, prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity in employment.

  • Recognizing same-sex parents on birth certificates.

  • Allowing transgender individuals to change their gender markers on state-issued identification documents.

Requirements for Getting Married in Florida as a Same-sex Couple

To legally marry in Florida as a same-sex couple, you'll need to follow the same procedures as opposite-sex couples. Here are the key requirements:

  • Obtain a marriage license from the county clerk's office in the county where you plan to get married.

  • Provide valid forms of identification, such as a driver's license or passport.

  • Meet the age requirements (18 years old or older, with parental consent required for those under 18).

  • There is a 3-day waiting period between obtaining the license and the ceremony (with some exceptions).

  • The marriage license is valid for 60 days from the date of issuance.

It's important to note that Florida does not currently have any residency or citizenship requirements for obtaining a marriage license, making it accessible for out-of-state and international couples to get married in the state.

Choosing a Wedding Venue in Florida for Same-sex Couples

One of the most exciting aspects of planning a same-sex marriage in Florida is the diverse range of wedding venues available, catering to all styles and preferences. From stunning beach locations to historic sites and charming gardens, Florida offers a wealth of options for LGBTQ+ couples to celebrate their love.

Some popular and LGBTQ+ friendly venue choices in Florida include:

  • Crandon Park Beach: This serene Miami beach offers a breathtaking tropical setting for LGBTQ+ couples' wedding ceremonies. With white sand, turquoise waters, and swaying palms, it provides a stunning backdrop for intimate beach celebrations. Crandon Park Beach embraces same-sex couples with an inclusive, welcoming atmosphere ideal for same-sex weddings in Miami.

  • Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park: This breathtaking Key Biscayne gem offers a serene, tropical setting ideal for LGBTQ+ weddings. With pristine beaches, lush hammocks, and striking ocean views, it provides an intimate, natural backdrop. The park's welcoming atmosphere embraces diversity, making it a top choice for same-sex couples celebrating their love in a beautiful Miami environment.

  • Miami Beach: With its vibrant LGBTQ+ community and picturesque beaches, Miami Beach is a top destination for same-sex weddings. Venues like the Betsy Hotel and the Palms Hotel & Spa are known for their inclusive and welcoming atmospheres.

  • Fort Lauderdale: This city is home to a thriving LGBTQ+ community and offers a variety of beautiful venues, such as the Bonnet House Museum & Gardens and the Hugh Taylor Birch State Park.

  • Key West: Known for its laid-back and accepting vibe, Key West is a prime location for intimate beach weddings and tropical celebrations. Venues like the Westin Key West Resort & Marina and the Southernmost Beach Resort cater to LGBTQ+ couples.

  • Orlando: With its world-famous theme parks and diverse culture, Orlando offers unique venue options like the Harry P. Leu Gardens and the Casa Feliz Historic Home Museum.

Florida has strong legal protections in place to prevent discrimination against LGBTQ+ couples when it comes to accessing public accommodations, including wedding venues. Additionally, many venues actively market themselves as LGBTQ+ friendly and inclusive, making it easier for same-sex couples to find the perfect setting for their big day.

Planning a Same-sex Wedding in Miami

Miami, with its vibrant LGBTQ+ community and cosmopolitan flair, is a prime destination for same-sex couples looking to tie the knot in Florida. This dynamic city offers a wealth of resources and a welcoming atmosphere for LGBTQ+ weddings.

One of the benefits of having a same-sex wedding in Miami is the abundance of LGBTQ+ friendly vendors and service providers. From wedding planners and florists to photographers and caterers, Miami is home to a diverse range of professionals who specialize in creating memorable and inclusive celebrations for same-sex couples.

Some local organizations and resources that can assist with planning an LGBTQ+ wedding in Miami include:

  • The Miami-Dade Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce: This organization maintains a directory of LGBTQ+ owned and allied businesses, including wedding vendors.

  • LGBTQ+ Wedding Expos and Shows: These events bring together a variety of vendors and offer a platform for couples to explore their options and connect with LGBTQ+ friendly businesses.

  • Support Groups and Online Communities: There are several local and online support groups and forums where LGBTQ+ couples can seek advice, share experiences, and connect with others planning their weddings in Miami.

Additionally, Miami's vibrant LGBTQ+ community hosts numerous events and celebrations throughout the year, such as the Miami Beach Pride Parade and Festival, providing a festive and welcoming atmosphere for same-sex couples to celebrate their love and commitment.

Plan your Same-sex Wedding in Florida with Weddings In Miami

Florida has come a long way in recognizing and embracing marriage equality for the LGBTQ+ community. With its diverse array of wedding venues, inclusive atmosphere, and robust LGBTQ+ resources, the state offers a welcoming and memorable destination for same-sex couples to tie the knot.

Whether you're dreaming of a romantic beach ceremony, a lavish penthouse celebration, or an intimate garden affair, Florida has something to offer every couple. By following the legal requirements and connecting with LGBTQ+ friendly vendors and service providers, you can create a truly special and personalized same-sex wedding experience in the Sunshine State.

If you're considering planning a same-sex marriage in Florida, reach out to our wedding service provider for personalized guidance and assistance. We specialize in creating unforgettable celebrations that honor and celebrate the love and commitment of all couples, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity.

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