Florida governor Rick Scott
Couples Sue Florida for Recognition of Their Marriages

By Lucas Grindley

Originally published on Advocate.com March 13 2014 12:59 PM ET

Eight couples sued the state of Florida toady for legal recognition of their marriages, performed in other states where it's within the law.

The couples, which are represented by the American Civil Liberties Union, argue that it's unconstitutional for Florida to refuse them legal recognition.

“These eight couples have all the rights and responsibilities of marriage in the states where they exchanged vows, and the federal government recognizes their marriages as well," said Daniel Tilley, attorney for the ACLU of Florida, in a statement. "It’s time for Florida to stop the harmful practice of treating committed couples as if they are strangers.”

Among others, the lawsuit names Governor Rick Scott, who opposes marriage equality. Scott is facing reelection in a fight against former governor Charlie Crist, who is now a Democrat and supports marriage equality.

Today's lawsuit over recognizing marriages performed in other states follows another legal challenge filed in January by couples living in the state who say the ban on them getting married in Florida is unconstitutional.

Lawsuits have made significant progress in other parts of the country in recent months. In Kentucky, for example, a ruling is being appealed by that state's governor that would otherwise force the state to recognize out-of-state, same-sex marriages. And in Utah an appeal is in process after a judge ruled the state's entire ban unconstitutional.