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Thousands Of Petitions Call To Lift Ban On Same-Sex Marriage

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MIAMI (CBSMiami)– Thousands of signed petitions were delivered to the Florida Attorney General’s Office Thursday morning asking her to drop the state’s legal challenges holding up gay marriage in the state.

Four same-sex couples from a group called Equality Florida Institute delivered signatures which call for an end to the legal battle they said is tying up their right to marry.

“It’s time. It’s time to let the law move forward and let the ruling move forward,” said Chris Cooley.

They carried green signs in support of gay marriage. They claim Attorney General Pam Bondi is holding up gay marriage with a taxpayer-funded legal fight.

(Source: CBS4)

(Source: CBS4)

“Why are we wasting all this money to try to appeal a ban that hasn’t been upheld anywhere else in the country. It doesn’t make sense. It upsets me,” said Sean Cooley. “There’s over 7,000 signed petitions.”

They left them with the Attorney General’s Secretary hoping they’ll be delivered to Bondi herself.

Click here to WATCH CBS4 Brian Andrews’s report

“Our marriage is no longer recognized in Florida and that not only affects people who have children, but people who are older, like ourselves, who have beneficiary rights and inheritance rights and social security and Medicare,” said Robin Gray.

The state’s ban on gay marriage was struck down by a judge in the Keys last week but that ruling was stayed pending an appeal by Florida’s Republican Attorney General. An appeal court has refused last-minute motions to allow the stay to be lifted.

Bondi has said, ultimately, the U.S. Supreme Court will decide what states like Florida who ban same-sex marriage should do.

“We shouldn’t be tied down by legal loopholes and appeals from the Attorney General for us to start a family,” said Sean Cooley.

In 2008, voters amended the state constitution to define marriage only as a union between a man and a woman. Legal challenges to the amendment are pending in Miami-Dade and in federal court up in Tallahassee.

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