Florida officials appeal gay marriage ruling

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Officials named as defendants in two federal lawsuits challenging Florida’s gay marriage ban are appealing a ruling last month that declared the ban unconstitutional.

Attorney General Pam Bondi’s office filed the notice Thursday on behalf of Surgeon General Dr. John H. Armstrong, Secretary of Management Services Craig J. Nichols and Washington County Clerk of Court Harold Bazzell.

U.S. District Judge Robert L. Hinkle in Tallahassee ruled Aug. 21 that the ban added to Florida’s constitution by voters in 2008 violates the 14th Amendment’s guarantees of equal protection and due process. Hinkle issued a stay delaying the effect of his order, meaning no marriage licenses would be immediately issued for gay couples.

The case could go to the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta.

A number of similar rulings around the country have been put on hold while appeals are pursued.

Re-posted with permission of the Associated Press.