Florida judge grants a landmark same-sex divorce

Reuters News
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Posted: Dec 17, 2014 6:00 PM

TAMPA, Fla. (Reuters) - A south Florida judge on Wednesday granted what is believed to be the state's first official same-sex divorce to a woman who entered into a civil union in Vermont, her attorney said.

The divorce was approved by Circuit Court Judge Dale Cohen during a court hearing in Broward County, after he previously ruled in the case that the state's ban on same-sex marriage is unconstitutional.

The divorce was requested by Heather Brassner, who sought to end a civil union that was performed in 2002 in Vermont.

The order has not yet been signed and officially processed, said her attorney, Nancy Brodzki, who did not expect an appeal by state officials to change the outcome.

"That will not un-divorce Heather," she said. "It is the first unquestionably valid same-sex divorce, issued in full compliance with Florida law."

A spokeswoman for Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi said her office would review the divorce order when it is filed.

Earlier this week, Bondi asked the U.S. Supreme Court to block a federal judge's ruling that could allow same-sex marriages to begin in Florida on Jan. 6.

(Reporting by Letitia Stein; Editing by Bill Trott)