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Florida Keys Judge Declares Gay Marriage Ban Unconstitutional; Florida AG Appeals

Florida State Attorney General Pam Bondi has appealed a judge’s ruling declaring Florida’s gay marriage ban unconstitutional. She filed the appeal within hours of the ruling on Thursday. 

A Monroe County circuit judge made the ruling, which applies only to the Florida Keys.

Judge Luis Garcia agreed with a Key West couple suing for the right to get a marriage license. The men are celebrating their 11-year anniversary together and were turned down when they applied with the Monroe County clerk.

The case is very similar to one pending in Miami—in that one, six couples sued after being denied marriage licenses.

Garcia ruled the state’s constitutional gay marriage ban violates gay couples’ 14th Amendment right to equal protection under the law. The ruling is among more than 20 nationwide finding in favor of same-sex couples. Legal experts expect one of those cases to be appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Meanwhile, Garcia says Monroe County could start issuing marriage licenses as early as Tuesday.