[JURIST] The US District Court for the Middle District of Florida Wednesday upheld a federal law allowing states to ban same-sex marriages. The ruling is believed to be the first to formally uphold the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act [THOMAS text; Wikipedia article]. The case arose from the claims of two women [St. Petersburg Times backgrounder] who wanted their Massachusetts same-sex marriage [MA Trial Court Law Libraries materials] acknowledged by the state of Florida, where the state law [text] specifically bans same-sex unions. Ellis Ruben, the attorney representing the women, has vowed to take their case to the US Supreme Court. Judge James S. Moody [official profile] wrote that the government has a legitimate interest in banning same-sex marriages to promote "stable relationships" for children. The full text of the ruling is not yet available online. AP has the full story.