Judge declares Florida's ban on gay marriage unconstitutional

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By Rene Stutzman

Florida's ban on gay marriage was overturned Thursday by a judge in the Keys, the first ruling on a series of lawsuits aiming to legalize same-sex marriage.

Circuit Judge Luis Garcia in Monroe County ruled that a 6-year-old provision in the Florida Constitution outlawing same-sex marriage violates the U.S. Constitution.

Nineteen other states now allow gay marriage, the consequence of a flurry of rulings on legal challenges throughout the nation.

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