An Act to Establish and enforce the Marriage Relations Between Persons of Color
Passed by the Florida House of Representatives January 3, 1866
Passed by the Florida Senate January 8, 1866
Approved by the Governor January 11, 1866
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the State of Florida in General Asembly con ened, that it shall be required of all the colored inhabitants of this State, claiming to be living together in the relation of husband and wife, and who have not been joined as such, agreeable to the laws regulating the same, and who shall mutually desire to continue in that relation, within the nine months from the passage of this act, to appear before some person legally authorized to perform the marriage ceremony, and be regularly joined in the holy bonds of Matrimony. And if any such person, either male or female, after the expiration of the time limited in this act, shall be found cohabiting as husband and wife, and who have not been so joined together, they and each of them shall be deemed to be guilty of a misdemeanor, and upon conviction, shall be subjected to the pains and penalties prescribed by the Statute for the punishment of fornication and adultery.
Be it further enacted, that the issue of such prior cohabitation shall be legitmated by the act of marriage so regularly contracted as aforesaid, and be thence forth entitled to all the rights and privileges of a legitimate offspring.
Be it further enacted, that for the purpose of perpetuating the evidence of such marriages as may take place under the provisions of this Act, it shall be the duty of the Clerk of the Circuit Court of the county in which the ceremony may have been performed, upon application of the parties, and a tender of his legal fees, to enter the certificate of marriage upon the register of marriage licenses in his office.
Be it further enacted, that if any person shall practice a fraud upon any person of color, by illegally assuming to perform the marriage ceremony for them, he or they, their aiders and abbetors shall be deemed to be guilty of a misdemeanor, and upon conviction shall be fined in a sum not exceeding one thousand dollars, or be imprisoned for a term not exceeding sex months, or be made to stand in the pillory not exceeding one hour, at the discretion of the jury.
Be it further enacted, that from and after the expiration of the time limited in the first section of this act, all laws applicable to or regulating the marriage relation between white persons, shall be deemed to apply to the same relation between the colored population of the State.
AN ACT LEGALIZING THE MARRIAGE OF PERSONS OF COLOR
Passed the Senate December 6, 1866
Passed the House of Representatives December 14, 1866
Approved by the Governor December 14, 1866
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the State of Florida in General Assembly convened, That in all cases where colored persons have resided and lived toghether as husband and wife, and have before the world recognized each other as husband and wife, hey shall be deemed and taken to be husband and wife, and are so delared to be by this act, as fully and lawfully as if the marriage had been solomnized by a proper officer legaly authorized to do and perform the same; and all children born of such parents are hereby legitamized and made heirs of their parents, and capable of inheriting unde the laws of this State, as though be, she or they have been born in lawful wedlock.
Be it furthr enacted, That all indictments now pending in any of the Curts of this State angainst persons of color for fornication and adultry, when they have been living together in the said relation, shall be abated and dismissed.