UPDATE: 7/2 6:12 pm
MIAMI (AP) - Attorneys for gay couples, the state of Florida and traditional marriage groups squared off in court in a battle over a lawsuit challenging Florida's constitutional ban on same-sex marriage.
Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Sarah Zabel issued no immediate ruling after the two-hour hearing Wednesday in a packed courtroom. Like others filed across the country, the lawsuit contends the gay marriage ban added by voters to the state constitution is discriminatory and violates equal protection guarantees.
Attorney General Pam Bondi's office countered that a single judge should not overturn the amendment passed in 2008. Bondi's attorneys also argue the U.S. Supreme Court has left marriage definitions to the states.
Zabel is being asked strike down the same-sex marriage ban before a trial. Twenty-one recent rulings in other states have backed gay marriage.
UPDATE 7/2 6:00pm
Gay marriage HEARING IN Miami is complete...but a Florida judge has no decision yet on the case following 2 hours of oral arguments.
A Challenge filed by gay and lesbian couples trying to overturn the state's constitutional ban on same-sex marriages.
Florida's gay marriage ban will take center stage in a Miami-Dade courtroom Tuesday.
Six same-sex couples are asking the court to strike down the ban and order the state to allow them to marry.
Shannon Minter with the National Center for Lesbian Rights is among the attorneys representing the group and says that they are asking for a summary judgment from Judge Sarah Zabel, asking for her to declare the state's ban unconstitutional.
John Stemberger with the Florida Family Policy Council is in Miami for the 4:00 p.m. hearing.
He says it should go the other way, saying that they hope the judge respects the rule of law and the fact that 62% of Floridians voted in favor a constitutional amendment defining marriage as a legal union between one man and one woman.
The hearing is expected to last several hours.
Stemberger says Judge Zabel will likely not rule from the bench, but, rather, make a ruling in a couple of days, if not a week following Wednesday's proceedings.
(Photo: Justin Sullivan / 2008 Getty Images)