Same-sex couples can start lining up for marriage licenses in the
Florida Keys as early as Tuesday following a circuit court ruling in Monroe
County that effectively overturns the state’s ban there.
Circuit Judge Luis M. Garcia ruled Thursday that the state’s ban on same-sex marriages violates equal protection under the law clauses in the U.S. Constitution, according to Time. Florida voters approved the state-level constitutional amendment in 2008.
While it is believed the ruling will soon be challenged, First Coast News is reporting that Garcia said marriage licenses could be available as early as Tuesday for same-sex couples.
A total of 19 states and Washington, D.C., have granted same-sex couples the right to marry, according to FreedomToMarry.org. Three states stop short of marriage, but offer broad protections, the website says. They are Nevada, Colorado and Wisconsin.
Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi has announced her intentions to appeal Garcia’s decision with the Third District Court of Appeal, the Miami Herald reported.
“Her office issued a statement, saying that ‘with many similar cases pending throughout the entire country, finality on this constitutional issue must come from the U.S. Supreme Court,’” the Herald reported.
Florida’s ban on gay marriage passed a referendum vote in 2008 with a margin of 62-38.
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