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updated: 3/13/2014 10:46 AM

ACLU, gay couples seek Fla. marriage recognition

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Associated Press

MIAMI BEACH, Fla. -- Eight gay couples and the American Civil Liberties Union have filed a federal lawsuit seeking to force Florida to recognize same-sex marriages performed in other states.

ACLU of Florida Executive Director Howard Simon said Thursday that same-sex couples suffer discrimination in many ways. Examples include problems getting spouses covered by health insurance, difficulties with inheritance rules and problems with workers' compensation benefits.

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The lawsuit names Gov. Rick Scott and other top Florida officials. It asks a judge to declare Florida's refusal to recognize same-sex marriages as unconstitutional. The lawsuit also wants a ruling requiring the state to recognize the marriages.

Earlier this year, another lawsuit challenged Florida's constitutional ban on same-sex marriage.

Seventeen states and the District of Columbia allow gay marriage.

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