Same-sex marriage has been legally recognized in Florida since the beginning of 2015, but lawmakers have kept language banning gay nuptials on the books.
Now, a pair of Democratic state lawmakers are looking to change that in the 2018 Legislative Session, which starts Jan. 9.
Democratic Rep. David Richardson of Miami Beach, an openly gay man first elected to the Florida Legislature in 2012, filed a bill this week that would take the ban off the books.
Fort Lauderdale Sen. Gary Farmer, another Democrat, filed similar legislation in the Senate.
The House bill (HB 6027) clocks in at only two lines, and would strike the Florida statute banning gay marriage – 741.212 – and go into effect immediately if passed by lawmakers and signed by Gov. Rick Scott.
The Senate bill (SB 130) would do the same, but has an additional requirement directing the Division of Law Revision to draft a bill for the 2019 Legislative Session striking out any mentions of “husbands” or “wives” from Florida statute and replacing with the gender-neutral “spouse” or “spouses.”
Richardson’s bill has not yet been referred to any committees, while Farmer’s has been assigned to the Senate’s Judiciary Committee; Children, Families, and Elder Affairs Committee, and the Rules Committee.
Farmer’s bill has not yet made the agenda for the Judiciary Committee.