TALLAHASSEE (CBSMiami/NSF) – Attorney General Pam Bondi will not follow the lead of other state attorneys general and will defend the state’s ban on same-sex marriage if she’s asked.

The ban is being challenged by six gay couples and the Equality Florida Institute. The group filed a lawsuit against Miami-Dade County Clerk Harvey Ruvin after his office refused to issue them marriage licenses earlier this month.

“This is a constitutional amendment that the voters passed…so my job is to defend that,” Bondi, a Republican running for re-election this year told reporters Wednesday.

In 2008, nearly 62 percent of Florida voters approved the constitutional amendment banning gay marriage. Since then, gay marriage bans have been challenged around the country and some states have refused to defend them in court.

The challenges were sparked by landmark decisions from the Supreme Court including the case that overturned the federal “Defense of Marriage Act.”

Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring, a Democrat who took office earlier this month, said he will not defend that state’s same-sex marriage prohibition because he believes it violates the equal protections guaranteed under the14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.

(TM and © Copyright 2014 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2014 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The News Service of Florida contributed to this report.)


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