A Miami-Dade County judge ruled Friday that Florida's same-sex marriage ban is unconstitutional, marking the second time the state's ban has been struck down this month, according to court filings.
Judge Sarah Zabel ruled in favor of the Equality Florida Institute and six Florida couples that had sued the county clerk for the right to marry.
In her 36-page ruling, Zabel found the state's ban was unconstitutional and violated its equal protection clause, and compared the plight of same-sex couples to the struggle of other minority groups to gain equal protections under the law.
"Notably absent from this protracted march towards social justice was any progress for the gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender community until quite recently," Zabel wrote in the ruling. "However, as evidenced by the avalanche of court decisions unanimously favoring marriage equality, the dam that was denying justice on this front has been broken."
Last week, Monroe County Judge Luis Garcia also found the ban unconstitutional in a ruling that only applied to residents of the Florida Keys. The Florida Attorney General's Office appealed the ruling, and Garcia later declined to allow couples to immediately wed in Monroe County.
The Miami ruling is the latest in a series of court decisions striking down same-sex marriage bans throughout the U.S. On Wednesday, a federal judge found Colorado's ban on same-sex marriage unconstiutional, and recent rulings have also struck down bans in Utah and Indiana.
"Today's ruling is a victory for thousands of couples who have been denied access to marriage," said Equality Flordia CEO Nadine Smith in a statement. "It is a victory for children who have longed for the day when their families would be respected equally under the law. And it is a victory for all Floridians who share the values of fairness and equality under the law."