A Florida judge ruled same-sex marriages could begin in Miami-Dade County on Monday, lifting a stay on her earlier decision that found the state’s gay marriage ban unconstitutional.
The order by Circuit Court Judge Sarah Zabel comes just ahead of same-sex weddings becoming legal statewide after midnight, when a stay ends on a similar federal court ruling.
Zabel’s decision set off cheers and tearful embraces at a packed courthouse in Miami. Two couples said they planned to get married as soon as their paperwork was processed.
“Our son is finally going to have a family and not be a second-class citizen,” said Cathy Pareto, who had sued over the ban and planned to wed on Monday.
Clerks in other parts of the state prepared to begin issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples on Tuesday, when a stay expires on a ruling by U.S. District Judge Robert Hinkle in Tallahassee, who also struck down the ban.
(Reporting by Zachary Fagenson; Writing by Letitia Stein; Editing by Colleen Jenkins, Susan Heavey and Bill Trott)