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A Florida judge overturned the state’s 2008 ban on same-sex marriage on Thursday, allowing same sex couples to marry starting on Tuesday.
Monroe County Circuit Judge Luis Garcia‘s decision only applies to Monroe County, which covers the Florida Keys, because “it it was filed in front of a state judge who has jurisdiction only in the county where he sits.” The lawsuit argued that the ban, approved by 62 percent of voters in 2008, violated the federal 14th Amendment’s guarantee of equal protection under the law.
“The court is aware that the majority of voters oppose same-sex marriage, but it is our country’s proud history to protect the rights of the individual, the rights of the unpopular and the rights of the powerless, even at the cost of offending the majority,” Garcia wrote in his decision.
Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi announced she would appeal the decision to the Third District Court of Appeal, issuing a statement that said, “with many similar cases pending throughout the entire country, finality on this constitutional issue must come from the U.S. Supreme Court.”
This ruling comes after a similar suit in Miami-Dade, where six same-sex couples filed a lawsuit to overturn the state’s gay marriage ban. The judge’s decision is expected any day now.