A federal judge on Thursday declared Florida's gay marriage ban unconstitutional.

U.S. District Court Judge Robert L. Hinkle chided state officials in granting summary judgment in a lawsuit challenging the state's ban.

Florida lawyers argued that the case was moot given the Supreme Court's June 2015 finding in Obergefell that gay and lesbian couples have a constitutional right to marry. Hinkle denied their request to dismiss as moot, saying that state officials had not “unambiguously terminated” their enforcement of the ban.

“The state defendants defended this case from the outset with vigor,” Hinkle wrote. “They gave no sway to the United States Supreme Court's decision in United States v. Windsor … When 18 successive federal decisions in district and circuit courts said that, under Windsor, states could not ban same-sex marriage, the defendants were undeterred.”

“After the United Sates Supreme Court issued Obergefell, one might have expected immediate, unequivocal acceptance.”

Hinkle blasted state officials who continued to drag their feet and lawmakers who have yet to repeal the ban.

“The Surgeon General's approach casts doubt on whether the State of Florida has voluntarily brought itself into compliance with Obergefell,” Hinkle wrote. “Indeed, Obergefell did not explicitly address any Florida statute. If the Surgeon General believes, as suggested by his motion to clarify, that he must comply with Florida same-sex marriage laws until explicitly struck down, then dismissal of this case as moot would leave him free to go back to where he was before the lawsuit was filed. The same is true for the Secretary of Management Services; there are many requirements affecting state employment that turn on marital status, and many of those have not been explicitly addressed, either in Obergefell or even in this case.”

“That the Legislature chose not to pass legislation to bring Florida law into compliance does not help the defendants. Like the only circuit court that has addressed the voluntary-cessation issue since Obergefell, I deny the motion to dismiss this case as moot,” he added.

Daniel Tilley, staff attorney for the ACLU of Florida, cheered the ruling.

“Today’s decision decisively affirms the right of same-sex couples to equal treatment under the law,” Tilley said in a statement. “This is a great decision that will strengthen Florida’s families. Judge Hinkle painstakingly described how Florida has resisted compliance with the Constitution’s mandate of equal treatment every step of the way. He also noted that our Florida legislature cannot escape the mandates of the constitution simply by leaving unconstitutional laws on the books.”