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MIAMI, FL – Today, Miami-Dade County Judge Sarah Zabel issued a ruling declaring the state of Florida’s ban on  marriage for same-sex couples unconstitutional. The decision, which is the result of a lawsuit brought on behalf of 6 couples and LGBT rights group Equality Florida in Miami-Dade County, comes eight days after a Monroe County judge issued a similar decision. The injunction, which applies only in Miami-Dade County, was immediately stayed by the judge pending the outcome of the expected appeals.

Responding to today’s ruling, ACLU of Florida LGBT rights staff attorney Daniel Tilley stated:

“Every court decision finding that Florida’s ban on the marriages of same-sex couples is unconstitutional brings us closer to the day when all Floridians have the same chance to marry the person they love.

“Today’s ruling is an important victory for the rights of all Florida couples and we are thrilled for all of the families represented in this case. The days when some Florida families are denied the respect and protections that come with marriage are numbered.”

The judge’s ruling is available here:

The court did not address the constitutionality of Florida’s refusal to recognize the marriages of same-sex couples that had been performed out of state, which is at the center of a challenge brought by the ACLU of Florida on behalf of eight couples, a Ft. Myers widow, and SAVE, South Florida’s largest LGBT rights organization.  That case, which names Florida Governor Rick Scott and Attorney General Pam Bondi along with other state officials as defendants is currently before the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Florida and a decision is expected soon. More information on that case is available here:

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