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Marriage Equality

Florida Men Get Marriage Recognition, New Driver's Licenses

Florida Men Get Marriage Recognition, New Driver's Licenses


Florida had previously refused to recognize the couple's marriage for the purpose of changing their name on their driver's licenses.

A Florida couple who had a dispute over driver's licenses when the state refused to recognize their New York marriage or their new last name have finally won a victory.

Scott and Daniel Wall-DeSousa got new licenses in Brevard County Tuesday, the Orlando Sentinel reports. They had initially obtained new licenses bearing their newly hyphenated name last fall, but then the Florida Department of Highway Safety canceled the licenses. A form letter the department sent to the men said their New York marriage certificate was not "a legal basis for a name change on a Florida driver license," as the state did not recognize same-sex marriages. The couple then sued the state.

However, a federal judge who struck down the marriage ban decreed that same-sex couples could begin marrying in Florida last week, even though his and other pro-equality rulings remain on appeal. This action also meant state recognition for out-of-state same-sex marriages.

Daniel Wall-DeSousa had stopped driving and cut up his license after receiving the state's letter in November, although his husband went ahead and got a license with his old name, Scott Wall. In an email to the Sentinel, Daniel said he would celebrate his new license by "going for a long drive."

The men said they plan to continue with their lawsuit, seeking damages.

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