On Thursday, in a 33-page ruling, U.S. District Judge Robert L. Hinkle of Florida's Northern District in Tallahassee became the fifth judge in the state to rule against the same-sex marriage ban. Like the previous rulings, however, Hinkle immediately stayed his ruling, meaning that gay and lesbian couples still can't get marriage licenses.
Following Hinkle's ruling, Rand Hoch, Florida's first openly gay judge, called on the state -- particularly Rick Scott -- to refrain from appealing Hinkle's federal court decision.
"Without an appeal, the matter of marriage equality will finally become settled uniformly throughout the state," Hoch said in a statement via the Palm Beach County Human Rights Council. "Gay and lesbian Floridians will then be able to have their relationships -- and their marriages -- formally recognized."More »