Florida same-sex marriage ban struck down in third case

Florida Court Hears Arguments Against Same-sex Marriage Ban

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Lawyers representing a half dozen same-sex couples suing Miami-Dade County for the right to marry told a court on Wednesday that Florida should follow the precedent set by the U.S. In a packed courtroom, Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Sarah Zabel heard oral arguments from attorneys representing the couples and gay rights groups seeking to strike down the state’s ban on gay marriage.

A Florida judge on Monday struck down the state's same-sex marriage ban in a ruling centered around whether a woman who entered into a civil union in another state could get divorced.

Circuit Court Judge Dale Cohen stayed his decision, which applied only to Broward County in south Florida. Gay rights activists expect an appeal from Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi, who has appealed two other recent state court rulings against the same-sex marriage prohibition approved by Florida voters in 2008.

Monday's decision involved a request by Heather Brassner to end a 2002 civil union performed in Vermont. Judge Cohen said the question required addressing the constitutionality of the same-sex marriage ban, said Brassner's attorney, Nancy Brodzki.

(Reporting by Letitia Stein; Editing by Eric Beech)

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