US: Two Florida counties given green light for same-sex marriage
A judge in the US state of Florida has ordered two counties to begin issuing same-sex marriage licences from next week.
Circuit Judge Timothy Shea on Wednesday said a recent decision by a federal judge that the state’s same-sex marriage ban is unconstitutional should be treated as “the law of Florida”.
His jurisdiction covers Orange and Osceola counties.
Shea said in his order that the previous ruling by Judge Robert Hinkle “is an excellent, well-thought-out legally sound decision that controls the law in the State of Florida.”
US District Judge Robert Hinkle earlier this year ruled that Florida’s same-sex marriage ban was unconstitutional.
Hinkle had stayed his ruling, but declined to extend the stay which expires on 5 January. Some counties have been expected to start issuing marriage licences to same-sex couples on that date, but it is unclear whether the ruling applies state-wide or just to one county.
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