Florida official: Gay marriage would cause harm

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Florida official: Gay marriage would cause harm
Howard Simon, Executive Director American Civil Liberties Union of Florida, gestures as he announces that eight gay couples and the ACLU have filed a federal lawsuit seeking to force Florida to recognize same-sex marriages performed in other states, in Miami Beach, Fla., Thursday, March 13, 2014. 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.(AP Photo/Alan Diaz)
Sandra Newson, left, talks to reporters as Denise Hueso, listens during a news conference in Miami Beach, Fla. on Thursday, March 13, 2014. Howard Simon, Executive Director American Civil Liberties Union of Florida, announced that eight gay couples and the ACLU have filed a federal lawsuit seeking to force Florida to recognize same-sex marriages performed in other states. Newson, who is a plaintiff in the lawsuit along with wife Denise Hueso, said the couple moved from Miami to Massachusetts so they could get married in 2009. They adopted a son, now 15, who has cerebral palsy and they decided to move back to South Florida, where they had more family to help care for him. (AP Photo/Alan Diaz)
Melanie Alenier, right, takes a photo of Jeff, left, and Todd Delmay after a news conference, Tuesday, Jan. 21, 2014 in Miami Beach, Fla. Six gay couples including Alenier and her partner Vanessa Alenier, and the Delmays, filed a lawsuit Tuesday seeking to overturn Florida's ban on same-sex marriage, the latest in a series of cases across the country that contend such prohibitions are unconstitutional and effectively relegate gay partners to second-class status. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)
City Church of Tallahassee Pastor Dean Inserra stands inside his church in Tallahassee, Fla. on Tuesday, Aug. 20, 2013. Inserra's church is researching how they will address the changing attitudes to gay marriage in the courts as well as among the public. "We have some gay couples that attend our church. What happens when they ask us to do their wedding?" Inserra said. "What happens when we say no? Is it going to be treated like a civil rights thing?" (AP Photo/Phil Sears)
James Cohen, center, carries his son Jason during a rally in support of the U.S. Supreme Court decision on the Defense of Marriage Act at the Miami-Dade Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce in Miami Beach, Fla., Wednesday, June 26, 2013. The justices issued two 5-4 rulings in their final session of the term. One decision wiped away part of a federal anti-gay marriage law that has kept legally married same-sex couples from receiving tax, health and pension benefits. The other was a technical legal ruling that said nothing at all about same-sex marriage, but left in place a trial court's declaration that California's Proposition 8 is unconstitutional. (AP Photo/Alan Diaz)
Corey Crawford, right, and Jessica Samph smile to each other before their wedding Friday, May 23, 2014, at City Hall in Philadelphia. On Tuesday, Pennsylvania became the final Northeastern state and the 19th in the U.S. to legalize same-sex marriage. Republican Gov. Tom Corbett said Wednesday he would not appeal a federal judge's ruling that overturned the state's 1996 ban. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)
Christopher DiCapua, left, and Oscar Cabrera kiss after saying their wedding vows Friday, May 23, 2014, at City Hall in Philadelphia. On Tuesday, Pennsylvania became the final Northeastern state and the 19th in the U.S. to legalize same-sex marriage. Republican Gov. Tom Corbett said Wednesday he would not appeal a federal judge's ruling that overturned the state's 1996 ban. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)
FILE - In this April 26, 2014, file photo, Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, addresses a crowd during the Utah Republican Party nominating convention, in Sandy, Utah. Hatch says it's obvious that gay marriage will become legal across the country sooner or later. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer, File)
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo delivers his acceptance speech as his party's nominee for re-election, at the state's Democratic Convention, in Melville, N.Y., Thursday, May 22, 2014. In a speech accepting his party's nomination, Cuomo cited his work to pass gay marriage and gun control and called Republicans the party of negativity and fear. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)
FILE - In this May 8, 2014, file photo, Utah Gov. Gary Herbert addresses the annual Outdoor Recreation Summit, in Salt Lake City. Gov. Herbert said Thursday, May 22, 2014 that he remains committed to defending Utah's same-sex marriage ban, calling decisions by other state leaders to not defend bans the "next step to anarchy." Herbert made the comments Thursday during his monthly televised news conference on KUED. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer, File)
Counter protestors attend a rally outside the Arkansas state Capitol in Little Rock, Ark., held by opponents of same-sex marriage Thursday, May 22, 2014. (AP Photo/Danny Johnston)
Opponents of same-sex marriage hold signs on the steps of the Arkansas state Capitol in Little Rock, Ark., Thursday, May 22, 2014. (AP Photo/Danny Johnston)
Graphic shows states with laws allowing same-sex marriage and has been updated with the latest from Pennsylvania; 2c x 3 inches; 96.3 mm x 76 mm;
Attorney Misha Isaak reads from a federal judge's decision striking down Oregon's ban on same-sex marriage, as couples react in the background at the headquarters of Oregon United for Marriage Monday, May 19, 2014, in Portland, Ore. Jubilant couples are rushing to the altar after a federal judge struck down Oregon's ban on same-sex marriage. The ruling from Judge Michael McShane came shortly after noon. Couples across the state quickly started getting marriage licenses and, in some cases, going through with the ceremony.(AP Photo/Gosia Wozniacka)
PHILADELPHIA - MAY 1: Anti-gay activists carry a sign as they march in small numbers during Equality Forum's 40th anniversary celebration of the gay rights movement May 1, 2005 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Thousands attended the weeklong event which ended with the National Celebration at Independence Mall, where the gay rights movement began 40 years ago with the first out and proud demonstrations. (Photo by William Thomas Cain/Getty Images)
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By GARY FINEOUT

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) - The attorney general of Florida says in court documents that recognizing same sex marriages performed in other states would "impose significant public harm."

Eight gay couples and the American Civil Liberties Union have sued the state in federal court. The lawsuit argues Florida is discriminating against the couples by not recognizing same-sex marriages performed in states where they are legal.

Attorney General Pam Bondi has filed a response that asks a federal judge to throw out the lawsuit.

Bondi's office says the state has a legitimate interest in defining a marriage as between a man and woman because Florida's voters adopted an amendment in 2008 that banned same-sex marriages.

The filing also says same-sex marriage recognition would create significant problems for the state's pension and health insurance programs.

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