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State says gay-marriage case now 'moot'

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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – With the U.S. Supreme Court ruling in June that same-sex couples have a fundamental right to marry, Attorney General Pam Bondi's office argued this week that a long-running legal fight about Florida's gay-marriage ban is moot and doesn't need to be addressed further by a judge.

"There is no need for anything further from this court,'' Bondi's office argued in a document filed in U.S. District Court in Tallahassee. "The United States Supreme Court has held that states must recognize same-sex marriage, and state officials will comply with the Supreme Court's decision."

The filing came after plaintiffs in the legal fight asked a federal judge to issue a summary judgment declaring Florida's ban unconstitutional and to permanently enjoin enforcement of the ban.

U.S. District Judge Robert Hinkle last year ruled that the voter-approved ban on same-sex marriage was unconstitutional and entered a preliminary injunction against it.

The state appealed to the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, but same-sex couples were allowed to start getting married in Florida in January.

The appeal was pending at the time the U.S. Supreme Court issued its landmark ruling in a case involving gay-marriage bans in Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio and Tennessee.