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Same-Sex Marriages Could Come To Florida As Early As January 6

The appeals process continues, but once the stay on Hinkle's ruling is lifted, gay marriages can go forward.
The appeals process continues, but once the stay on Hinkle's ruling is lifted, gay marriages can go forward.
The appeals process continues, but once the stay on Hinkle's ruling is lifted, gay marriages can go forward.
Credit Adam Lederer via Flickr
The appeals process continues, but once the stay on Hinkle's ruling is lifted, gay marriages can go forward.

The Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals gave Florida’s marriage equality activists a procedural win Wednesday.  A three-judge panel ruled a lower court’s order overturning the state’s same-sex marriage ban will go into effect as planned after January 5.

Back in August, a federal judge—Robert Hinkle—ruled Florida’s ban on same-sex marriages is unconstitutional.  But Hinkle placed a stay on his ruling to allow for the appeals process.  This stay was set to end January 5, and Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi asked the circuit court to extend the stay until it renders its ruling.  Wednesday the circuit court denied that request.  If the stay is not extended by some other means, same sex marriages could begin as soon as January 6.  

Perhaps even more important, state agencies would have to recognize same-sex marriage licenses from other states.  This issue has been a roadblock for some couples seeking federal benefits.

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