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|LGBT rights in Florida|
|Same-sex sexual activity legal?||Legal since 2003
(Lawrence v. Texas) Prior to 2003, illegal, all sexes; misdemeanor punishable by up to 1 year imprisonment and $2000 fine
|Florida Amendment 2 which defines marriage as a union only between one man and one woman and bans the creation of similar unions, such as civil unions or same-sex marriage.|
|Adoption||Legal since 2010|
|Discrimination protections||Sexual orientation recognized|
 Law regarding same-sex sexual activity
After Florida became a territory of the United States in 1821, the Territorial Legislature enacted laws against fornication, adultery, bigamy, and incest, as well as against "open lewdness, or...any notorious act of public indecency, tending to debauch the morals of society."
Florida's first specific sodomy law, which was enacted in 1868 and made sodomy a felony, read: "Whoever commits the abominable and detestable crime against nature, either with mankind or with beast, shall be punished by imprisonment in the state prison not exceeding twenty years." In 1917, the Florida Legislature added a lesser crime, a second-degree misdemeanor: "Whoever commits any unnatural and lascivious act with another person shall be punished by fine not exceeding five hundred dollars, or by imprisonment not exceeding six months."
Florida courts interpreted the 1868 law to prohibit all sexual activity between two men or two women. In 1971, the Florida Supreme Court struck down the "crime against nature" statute as unconstitutionally vague. The court retained the state's prohibition on sodomy by ruling that anal and oral sex could still be prosecuted under the lesser charge of "lewd and lascivious" conduct.
Same-sex sexual activity remained illegal in Florida until 2003, when the United States Supreme Court struck down all state sodomy laws with Lawrence v. Texas. As of 2013, the state's sodomy law, though unenforceable, had not been repealed by Florida legislators.
 Recognition of same-sex unions
The state enacted legislation banning same-sex marriage. Since the passage of the Florida Amendment 2 in November 2008 by a vote of 61.9% in favor and 38.1% opposed, both same-sex marriage and civil union have been banned by Florida's state constitution.
Amendment 2 added Article I Section 27 of the Florida constitution, which says:
- Inasmuch as marriage is the legal union of only one man and one woman as husband and wife, no other legal union that is treated as marriage or the substantial equivalent thereof shall be valid or recognized."
In 1977, partly due to the anti-gay Save Our Children campaign led by Anita Bryant in Miami, the Florida Legislature passed a law specifically prohibiting homosexuals from adopting children; the statute survived several court challenges, and was upheld by the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit as recently as 2004.
However, in 2010 in the case of In re: Gill, involving a gay couple raising two foster children whom they wanted to adopt, a state appeals court upheld the ruling by a lower court that the law violated equal protection rights of the couple and the children under the Florida Constitution. The Governor and Attorney General declined to appeal the ruling further, thus ending Florida's 33-year-old ban on same-sex adoptions.
As of 2013, however, the 1977 prohibition on homosexual adoption remained part of Florida Statutes.
 See also
- LGBT history in Florida
- Florida Legislative Investigation Committee, also called the Johns Committee, which tried to eliminate homosexuals from universities and state employment in Florida, 1956–1965
- Homosexuality and Citizenship in Florida, anti-gay pamphlet published by the Johns Committee in 1964, notorious at the time because of its lewd photographs of men engaged in sexual activity
- Franklin v. State, 1971 Florida Supreme Court ruling that overturned the 1868 "crimes against nature" act
- Politics of Florida
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 LGBT organizations
 LGBT community centers
 LGBT youth organizations
 Higher education LGBT resource offices
 HIV/AIDS organizations
|Some content in this article from Wikipedia's WikiProject LGBT studies|
|The Wikipedia article is LGBT rights in Florida|
|Special thank you to participants of Wikipedia's WikiProject LGBT studies!|
- Duval, John P. Compilation of the public acts of the Legislative Council of the Territory of Florida, passed prior to 1840. Tallahassee: Samuel S. Sibley, Printer, 1839. Sections 40-42 of "An Act relating to Crimes and Misdemeanors, 1839, p. 120
- Franklin v. State, Florida Supreme Court, December 17, 1971, accessed July 14, 2011
- Turbe, Laura A. "Florida's Inconsistent Use of the Best Interests of the Child Standard," 33 Stetson L. Rev. 369 (2003-2004), accessed July 16, 2011, pp. 377-381. See footnote 34, p. 374.
- New York Times: "Supreme Court Strikes Down Texas Law Banning Sodomy," June 26, 2003, accessed May 24, 2011
- Florida Statutes 2010, Official Internet Site of the Florida Legislature, accessed July 16, 2011 The statute reads: "800.02 Unnatural and lascivious act. — A person who commits any unnatural and lascivious act with another person commits a misdemeanor of the second degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083. A mother's breastfeeding of her baby does not under any circumstance violate this section."
- "Askew signs bill to ban gay marriage". Boca Raton News. June 9, 1977. Retrieved February 15, 2013.
- "Initiative Information - Florida Marriage Protection Amendment". Florida Department of State, Division of Elections. February 6, 2005. Retrieved November 5, 2008.
- Sanlo, Ronni L. Unheard Voices: The Effects of Silence on Lesbian and Gay Educators, Westport, CT: Greenwood Publishing, 1999, p. 14
- "In a Six-to-Six Vote, Federal Appeals Court Declines to Reconsider Decision Upholding Florida's Anti-Gay Adoption Law", American Civil Liberties Union in Florida, press release, July 22, 2004
- "Florida won't challenge end to gay adoption ban," Orlando Sentinel, October 22, 2010.
- 2010 Florida Statutes, section 63.042(3), accessed July 8, 2011: "No person eligible to adopt under this statute may adopt if that person is a homosexual."