US: Judge opens up same-sex marriage in one Florida county
A judge in the Florida Keys has ruled in favour of same-sex marriage, overturning its constitutional ban on same-sex marriage.
The ruling by Circuit Judge Luis M Garcia, and comes after a legal challenge to Florida’s same-sex marriage ban by six gay couples.
The couples argued that while they were banned from marrying, they were considered second class citizens.
Judge Garcia’s ruling only applies to Monroe County, which includes Florida Keys.
Florida’s same-sex marriage ban was approved by voters in 2008, but the lawsuit argues that it violates same-sex couples’ guarantee of equal protection under the law, as dictated by the US Constitution.
Attorney general Pam Bondi, and supporters of the ban, argued that the amendment should be respected, because it was voter approved. Bondi argued that the state has the authority to define marriage there.
Same-sex couples could begin to receive marriage licences from Tuesday.
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