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Despite legalization of gay marriage, problems are still abound

Lifting the same-sex marriage ban here in Florida was supposed to open a lot of doors for homosexual couples in our state. And in many ways it has. Same-sex couples can now get married in a state that once didn’t even recognize their relationship. The lifting of the ban also means now that same-sex marriages performed in other states are now recognized in Florida as well.

But there has been a downside to lifting the ban as well. Because of legislative hold ups, the switch to a same-sex-friendly state has not been an immediate one. Immediately following the court decision that initially struck down the ban, many county clerks were unsure if that meant they could issue marriage licenses. Others wondered if this meant same-sex divorces were also legal.

But a recent story out of Brooksville is illustrating another issue same-sex couples in Florida are encountering: how their unions are identified on death certificates.

Some of our Orlando and Tampa readers may have heard about this issue via the news story regarding a funeral home that initially refused to acknowledge the same-sex marriage of one spouse to his deceased partner. The issue was later corrected when the Florida Department of Health explained to the funeral home that the state’s recognition of same-sex marriages extended to death certificates as well.

Because changing the laws will take some time in our state, same-sex partners across Florida should be prepared for more situations like this to arise in the months to come. If you find yourself facing one of these complicated legal situations, you don’t have to do it alone. The attorneys here at Morris & Hancock, PA can help you through even the most challenging of family law issues and will make sure that you reach a resolution you can be happy with.

Source: The Tampa Bay Times, “Widowed Florida man seeks recognition of marriage to his late husband,” Anna M. Phillips, Feb. 19, 2015

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