As of 12:01 AM on Tuesday Jan. 6, same-sex marriage in Florida will be legal.
Beginning as soon as January 6, 2015 same-sex couples can be issued marriage licenses for the first time in Florida. Months ago, federal district court Judge Robert Hinkle ruled that disallowing same-sex marriage was unconstitutional. On Janurary 1, 2015, he confirmed that his same-sex marriage ruling applies to all 67 Florida counties, and therefore all counties should be issuing same-sex couples marriage licenses.
Since views about same-sex marriage in the county clerks of court is a combination between personal conviction as well as logistics, it has made some counties evaluate whether they want to continue to offer marriage ceremonies. At this time, a handful of counties have chosen to only issue marriage licenses and eliminate courthouse ceremonies. Duval, Clay and Baker counties have discountinued courthouse marriage ceremonies, indicating that although the changing situation with same-sex marriage was involved in their decision, there were other factors involved in the decision. Since some clerks may feel it goes against their personal beliefs to perform these ceremonies, some counties will allow clerks to individually decline performing a ceremony if they feel uncomfortable. For instance, in Putnam county, clerks can decline to perform marriage ceremonies to same-sex couples, but nobody has indicated that they would decline to perform such a ceremony at this time. However, the legal counsel for the county clerks of court advises the clerks to follow the judge’s ruling or face possible consequences. Pam Bondi, who has fought against same-sex marriage has indicated that her office will not intervene further in the matter. Her statement, along with the Judge’s clarification of his ruling eliminates the possibility of further delaying same-sex couples from being issued marriage licenses.
Regardless of whether you are a same-sex couple or not, taking an approved premarital course will allow you to skip the 3-day waiting period and receive a discount of $32.50 off of your marriage license.
Ready to pop the question to the love of your life? That’s terrific! Here are some ideas in and around the state of Florida to help you in your quest to deliver a fabulous marriage proposal that will end with the coveted “yes” you seek and start you on your journey towards a lifetime of love.
Unique Proposal Ideas:
- While on a romantic stroll next to the river in Hillsborough State Park, in Thonotosassa, FL. Or, if you’re more adventurous, pop the question while paddling your canoe in the river with glimpses of alligators who will bear witness to your profession of love. – Hillsborough County
- During a romantic gondola ride on the waterways of Ft. Lauderdale, FL near Las Olas. You can also arrange to include a message in a bottle for the experience.- Broward County
- At Discovery Cove in Orlando, and order the upgrade that includes a dolphin delivering a special message buoy such as one that says, “Be Mine.” – Orange County
- During the day or evening at Busch Gardens in Tampa, while enjoying a scenic Skyride that slowly travels over the park, animals and scenery below. – Hillsborough County
- By the Gulf of Mexico on the beach at sunset. Try Treasure Island Beach or Clearwater Beach for the momentous occasion. These are wider sand beaches where you’ll be able to more easily find an uncrowded spot for your little shindig and there are also restaurants within easy walking distance where you can continue the celebration of your engagement afterwards. – Pinellas County
- During a kayak paddle in the scenic waters off Fort Desoto Park in Tierra Verde, FL – Pinellas County. You’ll enjoy seeing mangroves and probably jumping fish, manatees or seabirds along the way.
- In Mable’s Rose Garden which features many varieties of roses, or on the waterfront courtyard/plaza of the beautiful Ringling’s mansion, Ca’D’Zan, at the John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art in Sarasota, FL – Sarasota County
- While strolling the short but impressive Anhinga trail in the Everglades- Everglades National Park, Homestead, FL. The Homestead entrance will get you to the Anhinga trail. This is for the adventurous couple who will be thrilled to be up close to wild alligators and other wildlife in their natural habitats! It will probably be a better experience if you go during the fall or spring seasons (less rain and mosquitos). -Miami-Dade County
Then, once you’re engaged, give each other another unique gift. A gift for your future with long-lasting effects. Take our premarital preparation course at http://FLPremaritalCourse.com to learn more about each other, gain marriage-enhancing skills, and get a great start towards your happily-ever-after.