The decision by U.S. District Judge Robert L. Hinkle is the latest of several-dozen rulings for same-sex marriage by federal courts across the country since the Supreme Court's landmark ruling advancing gay rights in 2013. On the federal level, gay marriage has since enjoyed an undefeated streak.
Hinkle put a hold on his ruling, meaning gay couples in Florida will not be able to receive marriage licenses just yet.
The ruling puts Republican Gov. Rick Scott in a predicament as he runs for reelection. As gay marriage becomes more popular in the state he has obscured his position on the issue and dodged questions by reporters. His administration has a say in whether to appeal the decision and defend the state's ban.
Charlie Crist, the Democratic nominee for governor in Florida, who supports marriage equality, quickly praised the ruling.
Another step forward for marriage equality. MT @SAVELGBT: BREAKING: Federal judge halts enforcement of #Florida #marriage ban!
— Charlie Crist (@CharlieCrist) August 21, 2014
This is a breaking story and will be updated.