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Group that pushed Florida gay marriage ban intervening in lawsuits challenging it

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MIAMI — The group that pushed Florida's constitutional amendment banning gay marriage is intervening in lawsuits filed by gay couples that raise challenges.

Florida Family Policy Council officials said Wednesday they would seek to preserve the constitutional amendment approved by more than 62 percent of voters defining marriage as between one man and one woman. A lawsuit filed in Miami-Dade Circuit Court claims the amendment violates equal protection guarantees.

A coalition of black and Hispanic civil rights groups and pastors is also defending Florida's constitutional ban.

The Florida Family Policy Council is also opposing a second lawsuit filed in Tallahassee federal court in which gay couples seek Florida recognition of gay marriages that are legal in other states.

No trial dates have been set in either case.

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