• Florida attorney general steps up efforts to protect state's gay marriage ban


    ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. - Florida's attorney general is making another move in an effort to defend the state's gay marriage ban.
    Attorney General Pam Bondi's office filed motions, hoping the courts would hear the state's argument during two south Florida cases challenging the ban.
    "We wear the rings," said central Florida resident Tammie Kaufman. "It's a personal thing that we are together and to just show the world that we are together."
    Kaufman and partner Kim Jackson aren't married because Florida will not allow it.
    She feels Bondi's move shows that state leaders aren't likely to change their stance on the issue any time soon.
    "I really don't want to have to go to a different state," said Jackson. "If it comes down to that, I don't know, I really don't know."
    Bondi filed the motions to intervene in two south Florida cases that want to overturn the state's ban on gay marriage. Bondi argues that the attorney general must be involved with all lawsuits in which the state is a party or has an interest in.
    She also points to the amendment to the Florida Constitution approved by voters in 2008 that bans same-sex marriages.
    Kaufman and Jackson said a lot has changed in eight-years.
    On Wednesday, a federal appeals court in Denver ruled that states must allow gay couples to marry and struck down Utah's gay marriage ban.
    Nineteen states, as well as the District of Columbia, have legalized gay marriage.
    Jackson and Kaufman said they hope Florida legalizes same-sex marriage, because they would like to continue living here.
    "I want to stay here, definitely, definitely. I love Florida," said Jackson.

    Channel 9's Tim Barber reached out to the Attorney General's Office and the local Republican party because Bondi and the governor are both Republicans, but both groups declined his request for interviews.

    The first case challenging Florida's ban on gay marriage goes to court July 2.

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    Florida attorney general steps up efforts to protect state's gay marriage ban