Couple reflects on year since same-sex marriage ruling


TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – For many same sex couples in Florida, roadblock after roadblock made being married seem like an impossibility up until last January. Matt Galka talked to one of the men responsible for reversing the state’s same sex marriage ban a year ago.

A little more than one year ago, there were feelings of frustration from Jim Brenner and his partner, Charles Jones.

"We’re not asking for anything that other people don’t already have," Brenner said. "We’re not asking for anything special."

Brenner and Jones had already been married in Canada, but until January of last year, Florida didn't recognize their union. Brenner's lawsuit helped pave the way for change. A federal judge overturned the ban on same sex marriage Jan. 5, 2015, and couples started getting marriage licenses the next day.

"It seems like almost on a daily basis we find something new that’s making our lives the same as anyone else's," Brenner said. "But for us, it’s a big difference, a big change.”

One year later, something that seemed almost impossible in Florida is run of the mill. On the first day marriage licenses were granted to same sex couples, there were a few protests.

"They just don’t have the right to throw out the sanctity of marriage," he said.

But there was limited trouble, and one year later, Brenner said everything feels normal

"The sky didn’t fall, and there are no major thunderbolts coming out of the sky in our direction, so I think it’s pretty much been what we were hoping for," Brenner said.

It's nearly impossible to tell how many same sex couples were wed in Florida last year as spouse gender isn't tracked in the state.