Florida student sues for marriage equality after being denied in-state tuition

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A student at Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton is suing for state recognition of his same-sex marriage. Gildas Dousset, who married his husband in Massachusetts in 2013, was denied in-state tuition even though his husband is a longtime Floridian because the state doesn't recognize their marriage.

Dousset is appealing the denial of in-state tuition in the Fourth District Court of Appeals. He argues that Florida’s laws barring recognition of valid out-of-state marriages of same-sex couples violate the U.S. Constitution.

Dousset and his spouse live together in Fort Lauderdale. When Dousset sought in-state tuition at Florida Atlantic University as the spouse of a long-time Florida resident, the school refused to respect the couple’s marriage, citing Florida law.

Dousset is represented by the Law Offices of George Castrataro and the National Center for Lesbian Rights.

“Florida is my home and I would like my marriage to be recognized just as other students’ marriages are," Dousset said. "My husband has lived in Florida all of his life, and we love this state. This case is about protecting our family.”  
 
Attorney George Castrataro added, “Gildas and his husband are recognized as legally married by the federal government and by many other states. But in his home state of Florida, his legal marriage is deemed void and unenforceable under Florida law. The harms inflicted by this extraordinary law are profound and burden the lives of countless Floridians.” 

The National Center for Lesbian Rights also represents six same-sex couples and Equality Florida Institute in Pareto v. Ruvin, a separate case before a state circuit court in Miami-Dade County challenging Florida’s laws barring same-sex couples from marriage.

Oral argument in that case will take place later this summer.