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BREAKING: Federal Judge Strikes Down Florida Gay Marriage Ban

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Jessica Palombo

A federal judge in Tallahassee has struck down the state’s gay marriage ban as unconstitutional. The ruling comes with an automatic stay preventing the issuing of marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

U.S. Circuit Judge Robert Hinkle found in favor of eight same-sex couples who had married in other states, one couple seeking to get married, and one woman whose partner had died. 

Hinkle says Florida’s ban violates the U.S. Constitution and his ruling applies to both the issuing of marriage licenses and the recognition of marriages performed legally in other states.

The lawsuit was brought by the American Civil Liberties Union of Florida on behalf of eight same-sex couples, a woman whose partner had passed away and South Florida’s SAVE advocacy organization. Their suit was consolidated with another case brought by Jacksonville attorneys on behalf of two couples.

It is the first federal ruling on same-sex marriage in Florida. Recently, two county judges ruled in favor of same-sex couples in South Florida. Stays are also keeping those rulings from taking effect—one because State Attorney General Pam Bondi immediately appealed it.