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Federal judge strikes down Florida's same-sex marriage ban

Advocates in California show their support for LGBT rights.
Advocates in California show their support for LGBT rights.
David McNew

A federal judge on Thursday declared Florida's same-sex marriage ban unconstitutional, but the decision was put on hold as it works through the appeals process.

US District Judge Robert Hinkle's decision, like other same-sex marriage cases before it, cited the equal protection and due process clauses of the US Constitution.

"The Supreme Court has repeatedly recognized the fundamental right to marry," Hinkle wrote. "Just last year the Court struck down a federal statute that prohibited federal recognition of same-sex marriages lawfully entered in other jurisdictions. The Florida provisions that prohibit the recognition of same-sex marriages lawfully entered elsewhere, like the federal provision, are unconstitutional. So is the Florida ban on entering same-sex marriages."

Because Hinkle stayed the decision pending appeal, same-sex couples in Florida won't be able to get married immediately.