Florida officials on Thursday appealed a federal judge's ruling striking down the state's ban on gay marriage.

Attorney General Pam Bondi's office filed a notice of appeal on behalf of Surgeon General Dr. John H. Armstrong, Secretary of Management Services Craig J. Nichols and Washington County Clerk of Court Harold Bazzell.

The state's 2008 voter-approved constitutional amendment excluding gay and lesbian couples from marriage was struck down late last month by U.S. District Judge Robert L. Hinkle. Hinkle said the ban violates the 14th Amendment's guarantees of equal protection and due process.

While Hinkle's decision was the first to affect the entire state, it arrived after state judges in four counties reached similar conclusions.

Daniel Tilley, an attorney with the ACLU of Florida, which is representing a portion of the plaintiffs, responded to the notice of appeal in a statement.

“We are very disappointed that Governor Scott has taken this affirmative step to keep in place laws that he knows cause substantial, concrete harms to families across Florida,” Tilley said. “He has the power to end this now, yet he has chosen to perpetuate the second-class status of lesbian and gay couples. State officials are only delaying the day when all Florida families are given the respect, dignity and responsibility that come with marriage. We will not rest until the marriages of all of Florida's loving couples are recognized.”