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Miami court to hear challenge to Fla. same-sex marriage ban

Wednesday, July 2, 2014
Plaintiffs in Equality Florida’s challenge to Florida’s gay marriage ban.Brett Hufziger, via Equality Florida

Plaintiffs in Equality Florida’s challenge to Florida’s gay marriage ban.

MIAMI — Attorneys for six same-sex couples, the Equality Florida Institute and the state of Florida are squaring off at a hearing on a lawsuit challenging Florida’s constitutional ban on same-sex marriage.

Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Sarah Zabel is scheduled Wednesday afternoon to hear arguments in the high-profile case.

Like others filed across the country, the lawsuit contends the same-sex marriage ban added by voters to the state constitution is discriminatory and violates equal protection guarantees.

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Attorney General Pam Bondi’s office counters that a single judge should not overturn the amendment that passed in 2008.

Bondi’s attorneys also argue the U.S. Supreme Court has left marriage definitions to the states.

Zabel is being asked strike down the same-sex marriage ban before a trial. It’s not clear when she might rule and an appeal is certain.

The hearing is scheduled for 4 p.m. EDT.

Follow the case: Pareto v. Ruvin.

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