John M. Becker

BREAKING: Marriage Comes Early to Miami-Dade County

Filed By John M. Becker | January 05, 2015 12:00 PM | comments

Filed in: Marriage Equality, Politics
Tags: Florida, gay marriage, marriage discrimination, marriage equality, Miami, Miami-Dade, same-sex marriage

florida-gay-flag.jpgA state judge in Florida has lifted her stay on a July pro-marriage equality ruling just hours before same-sex weddings are scheduled to commence in the Sunshine State, meaning that couples in Miami-Dade County will be able to start marrying half a day earlier than the rest of Florida.

The Miami Herald reports:

Miami-Dade County will become the first place in Florida to allow same-sex couples to marry on Monday, 10 hours before a gay-marriage ban that has been ruled unconstitutional is lifted in the rest of the state.

In an 11 a.m. hearing, Circuit Judge Sarah Zabel lifted the legal stay she had placed on her sweeping July decision declaring the ban discriminatory.

"In the big picture, does it really matter whether or not I lift the stay or leave it until tomorrow?" she said from the bench. "I'm lifting the stay."

The elected clerk of courts, Harvey Ruvin, at first said same-sex marriages would begin at 2 p.m. But once his office received a signed copy of Zabel's two-page order at noon, he said couples could apply for marriage licenses immediately.

"All of our offices are now fully prepared to follow the judge's order, and everyone will be treated equally," said Ruvin, a Democrat.

According to Miami's WPLG-TV, as soon as Judge Zabel said the words "I'm lifting the stay," cheers erupted in the courtroom.

State #36, baby. Go get married, Miami!

In your face (ha!), Anita Bryant!

UPDATE: Marriages have happened! Details (via Twitter) after the break. Also posted is video from the moment Judge Zabel lifted the stay.

Congratulations to the happy couples!

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