MIAMI -

A Florida Keys judge who last week ruled the state's ban on same-sex marriage is unconstitutional has denied a request to permit gay couples to marry in Monroe County over a pending state appeal.

Monroe County Circuit Judge Luis Garcia denied a motion Monday asking to lift an automatic stay triggered by the appeal. The judge ruled last week that the ban on same-sex marriage added to the state constitution by Florida voters in 2008 is discriminatory and violates gay people's right to equal treatment under the law.

Garcia ruled marriage licenses could be issued in Monroe County beginning Tuesday. That was blocked by an automatic stay triggered when Republican Attorney General Pam Bondi filed notice of the state's appeal.

Lawsuits challenging Florida's gay marriage ban are also pending in Miami-Dade County and Tallahassee federal court.