As soon as the clock struck midnight and Monday became Tuesday, couples everywhere in Florida had a reason to celebrate. And many of them did. Numerous couples said their "I do's" as soon as Florida became the 36th state to legalize gay marriage. Some married the day before, when a Florida judge ruled on Monday that couples in Miami-Dade County could wed immediately. The rest of the state joined when a gay marriage ban expired at 12 a.m. Tuesday morning. It's clear that many of these couples had been waiting years for the monumental day, because they literally couldn't wait to walk down the aisle.
Last July, Miami-Dade Circuit Court Judge Sarah Zabel had ruled Florida's ban on gay marriage unconstitutional, but placed a stay on her ruling pending appeals. In August, a federal judge, U.S. District Judge Robert L. Hinkle, also ruled the ban was unconstitutional, but enforced a temporary ban and gave Attorney General Pam Bondi until Monday to file an appeal, and when she failed to do so, the statewide ban expired. On January 1, Judge Hinkle clarified that his ruling would apply to every county in Florida. In response, Judge Zabel lifted the temporary ban for Miami-Dade, which became the first county in the state to allow same-sex couples to wed.
Just hours after her decision, Judge Zabel officiated the very first same-sex marriage in Florida, which simultaneously wed Karla Arguello and Catherina Pareto and Jeff and Todd Delmay, two of the six couples who had sued the county over the marriage ban. But that was just two out of many couples who flocked to courthouses across the state to make their relationships official. Take a look at all the couples who just got married in Florida.
Something to brighten up your January, amiright?