I am a Florida Personal Injury Trial lawyer and I am embarrassed by my state’s laws that deny injured gays and lesbians the kindness and caring of loved ones. Some Florida hospitals still bar partners from visitation or from making crucial health care decisions. And Florida law also fails to recognize a partner’s right to just compensation as a survivor for loss of companionship or consortium. This is true even when the partners have been together for decades.
I have sued Miami’s Jackson Memorial Hospital many times. Recently, JMH refused to allow a lesbian woman to visit her dying partner of 18 years. The couple had adopted four children together. While JMH refused to allow either the partner or their children to see the patient, she died, alone. The surviving partner sued JMH and the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida dismissed the case. Click here to read the Court’s opinion.
Florida Statute Section 741.212 makes it clear where Florida stands on same sex marriage: no. And Florida’s barbaric Statute Section 63.042 prohibits homosexual adoption. As a father of two, I hope my kids will one day find it just as hard to believe that any law could deny the rights of LGBT Americans as they do now when I tell them about segregation or women’s suffrage.
741.212 Marriages between persons of the same sex.–
(1) Marriages between persons of the same sex entered into in any jurisdiction, whether within or outside the State of Florida, the United States, or any other jurisdiction, either domestic or foreign, or any other place or location, or relationships between persons of the same sex which are treated as marriages in any jurisdiction, whether within or outside the State of Florida, the United States, or any other jurisdiction, either domestic or foreign, or any other place or location, are not recognized for any purpose in this state.
(2) The state, its agencies, and its political subdivisions may not give effect to any public act, record, or judicial proceeding of any state, territory, possession, or tribe of the United States or of any other jurisdiction, either domestic or foreign, or any other place or location respecting either a marriage or relationship not recognized under subsection (1) or a claim arising from such a marriage or relationship.
(3) For purposes of interpreting any state statute or rule, the term “marriage” means only a legal union between one man and one woman as husband and wife, and the term “spouse” applies only to a member of such a union.