Florida to make marriage licenses gender-neutral

Friday marked the anniversary of the anniversary of District Judge Robert Hinkle’s ruling that struck down the state's gay marriage ban.

On the eve of that anniversary, LGBT equality advocates saw another small but symbolic victory, according to Equality Florida.

Come next month, the state will likely begin issuing gender-neutral marriage licenses and death certificates, state Bureau of Vital Statistics spokeswoman Ana Goold told Equality Florida's Hannah Willard.

Even after Hinkle's decision took effect on January 6, Florida’s marriage applications and certificates would allow entries only for “Husband” and “Wife.”

But soon, that spot on those forms will simply read "Spouse."

The Bureau of Vital Statistics had sought public comment on the issue in recent months, and Equality Florida rallied support for the change, including 1,266 signatures in support of it.

“Equality Florida is committed to making sure the state of Florida fully implements marriage equality and treats LGBT families equally under the law,” said Willard, the organization’s marriage issues coordinator.

But Florida's bureaucracy isn't entirely caught up as yet.

Three lesbian couples, along with Equality Florida, are suing the state over its refusal to list the names of same-sex spoused on birth certificates. According to the nonprofit, "officials currently insist that only the birth mother be listed on a newborn child’s birth certificate and that she be listed as single even if she is married to a woman."

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