Same-sex couples began marrying in Miami-Dade County on Monday, ahead of statewide legalization Tuesday.
Circuit Judge Sarah Zabel lifted a stay Monday morning, and the clerk of the courts Harvey Ruvin said same-sex couples could begin receiving marriage licenses from the county at 2 p.m., according to the Miami Herald.
A stay on an earlier ruling expires Monday, and some counties will begin issuing marriage licenses as early as 12:01 a.m. Tuesday.
“The overwhelming tidal wave of court rulings over the last year has put America on the cusp of nationwide marriage equality,” said Human Rights Campaign legal director Sarah Warbelow in a statement. “Committed and loving gay and lesbian couples in Florida are just as deserving of marriage rights as anyone else.”
Florida voters passed a constitutional amendment in 2008 defining marriage as “the legal union of only one man and one woman.” On Sunday, former governor Jeb Bush said he believed that the state’s marriage law should be a “local decision.”
Florida is the 37th state where marriage is legal for same-sex couples either statewide or in some counties. A year ago, it was legal in 16 states.