BREAKING NEWS - Judge: Clerks Have Duty to Issue Same-Sex Marriage Licenses

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MIAMI (AP) — A federal judge says Florida's county court clerks have a legal duty to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples, but he has stopped short of ordering them to do so.

U.S. District Judge Robert Hinkle issued a ruling Thursday responding to requests to clarify his previous order that Florida's same-sex marriage ban was unconstitutional. He stayed that order, but the stay is scheduled to expire at the end of the day Monday.

The association representing county clerks said the ruling applies only to Washington County, where a lawsuit filed by two men became a key basis for Hinkle's order. Gay rights groups said Hinkle's order applies statewide.

Hinkle warned Thursday that clerks who don't start issuing the licenses when the stay expires could face future lawsuits or other legal consequences.


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