Judge upholds stay on Florida Keys gay marriage ruling

By Kyle Johnson,

A Florida judge dashed the hopes of a gay couple on Monday by upholding a stay on last week's gay marriage ban ruling.

The same-sex couple filed an emergency motion seeking to have Circuit Judge Luis Garcia's ruling striking down the state's gay marriage ban reinstated, Reuters reports.

He originally ruled on Thursday, opening the door for Monroe County to begin issue marriage licenses to gay couples, but the ruling was halted after Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi said the state would file for an appeal. Garcia felt it was wiser to follow how other courts would "stay proceedings in similar challenges."

The judge, whose ruling does not affect the entire state, found that the ban on gay marriages was unconstitutional, ruling similarly to every other judge who has decided on the matter.

Garcia also noted in his ruling, "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."

The lawsuit was initially filed by two Key West bartenders, Aaron Huntsman and William Lee Jones, who said they weren't surprised the stay was upheld.



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