Marriage Licenses Challenged

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

More than 170 gay men and women sued a court clerk, challenging the Florida law prohibiting them from obtaining marriage licenses.

They added their voices to the growing nationwide crescendo on the issue.

The suit in Broward County court is believed to be the first formal legal challenge to the state law specifying that marriage licenses be issued only to parties consisting of one male and one female.

The suit names only Broward Court Clerk Howard Forman as a defendant. He issues wedding licenses in the county.

The recent furor over same-sex unions was sparked by a Massachusetts Supreme Court ruling that barring gay couples from
marriage is unconstitutional. Then officials in San Francisco -- in apparent defiance of California law -- allowed homosexuals to wed.

Some couples from Florida have joined the California marriage rush. Those unions are not recognized in the Sunshine State. Florida is among 38 states formally banning same-sex unions.

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