Groups defend Florida's same-sex marriage ban

MIAMI (AP) -- A coalition of black and Hispanic civil rights groups and pastors is defending Florida's constitutional ban on same-sex marriage.

They are challenging the grounds of another lawsuit that seeks to overturn the ban.

The groups said Friday that the effort to overturn the ban threatens to violate the rights of the Florida voters who approved the ban by a wide margin in November 2008.

The ban defines marriage as "the legal union of only one man and one woman as husband and wife" and states that no other unions can be recognized.

The groups, including the Florida Democratic League and People United to Lead the Struggle for Equality, filed court papers Feb. 25 saying a judge should dismiss the lawsuit. They also have launched an online petition, www.donttrashmyvote.com.

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