The Florida Supreme Court on Friday sent back a case challenging the state's ban on gay marriage.

The case involves two Tampa women who married in Massachusetts, the first state to legalize marriage for gay couples in 2004. A Hillsborough County judge denied Mariama Changamire and Keiba Lynn Shaw's request for a divorce, citing the state's ban on recognizing such unions.

The Second District Court of Appeal refused an appeal in the case, saying it should go directly to the state's highest court because of its “high public importance.”

According to The Tampa Tribune, the high court sent back the case, saying that the appellate court should first rule on the case.

Lawyer Brett Rahall, who represents one of women, expressed confidence that the appeals court would allow the couple to divorce.

“To me, it has absolutely no indication whatsoever on the merits on the case and what the final outcome is going to be,” he said.

Voters in 2008 overwhelmingly approved the state's constitutional amendment excluding gay couples from marriage. But increasingly voters have expressed buyer's remorse, with 56 percent of Floridians saying they support marriage equality.

Five judges, including a federal judge, have in recent weeks declared the state's ban invalid.