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  1. News

New marriage, divorce forms replace 'husband,' 'wife' with 'spouse'

Florida's marriage and divorce forms say "spouse" in the spots where they once said "husband" and "wife."

More than a year after a federal court ruled the state's ban on same-sex marriage unconstitutional, Florida's marriage and divorce paperwork now provides spots for the names of "spouse" and "spouse" rather than "husband" and "wife."

Clerks across the state received copies of the updated documents Monday and can start using them Oct. 1, according to an advisory. The forms also provide for a maiden name and a suffix (such as "Junior") under each name field.

In August 2014, a federal judge in Tallahassee ruled that the state's ban on same-sex marriage was unconstitutional, but it wasn't until January of this year that marriages were legally recognized statewide. Across the Tampa Bay area, gay couples lined up to marry. Even the tourism industry embraced the boom in same-sex weddings.

The right to marry was ultimately affirmed in June when the U.S. Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriage nationwide.

Gay rights advocates are still fighting to have the language change reflected on birth certificates.

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