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UPDATE: Same-Sex Marriages Approved in Florida Keys, State Will Appeal

 
Posted Thursday, July 17th 2014 @ 6pm

UPDATE 7/17 6:35 PM

Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi's motion to appeal a Monroe County judge's ruling against the state's same-sex marriage ban places an automatic stay on the decision.

Judge Luis Garcia's ruling would have directed Monroe County to begin issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples on Tuesday morning. That order will be put on hold unless the stay is removed.

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UPDATE 7/17 3:20 PM

The Florida Attorney General's office has issued a notice to appeal Judge Luis M. Garcia's ruling striking down the state's ban on same-sex marriage.

A Miami-Dade judge has not yet ruled on a lawsuit brought forth against clerk of court Harvey Ruvin by six same-sex couples.

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A judge in the Florida Keys has overturned the state's constitutional ban on same-sex marriage after a legal challenge by two bartenders earlier this year in the Keys. 

Aaron Huntsman and William Lee Jones, who met at a gay pride celebration and have been a couple for 11 years, sued Monroe County Clerk Amy Heavilin in April for a marriage license. Their case mirrors the suit in Miami-Dade, in which six same-sex couples and LGBT advocacy group Equality Florida Institute sued County Clerk Harvey Ruvin for the right to marry.

The ruling was issued Thursday by Circuit Judge Luis M. Garcia and applies only to Monroe County, which covers the Keys. The lawsuit contended that the same-sex marriage ban approved by voters in 2008 violated the U.S. Constitution's guarantee of equal protection under the law.  The judge says licenses could be issued starting Tuesday. 

Attorney General Pam Bondi and ban supporters argued that the referendum vote should be respected and that Florida has sole authority to define marriage in the state. The Florida amendment defined marriage as a union between one man and one woman.

 

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