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Some Gay Couples In Florida Can Get Married Today

Same-sex couples in Florida's Miami-Dade County can begin to get married as early as Monday after a judge lifted a stay on her July ruling that declared the state's ban on gay marriage unconstitutional.

Circuit Judge Sarah Zabel's ruling allows gays couples in the county to get married as of 2 p.m. ET. Such marriages performed out of state will be recognized in Miami-Dade immediately.

Gay marriages in the rest of the state are set to begin at 12:01 a.m. Tuesday. That follows a decision in August by federal Judge Robert Hinkle who declared the ban unconstitutional.

As we reported last week, Hinkle put his order on hold, giving the state time to appeal to the Supreme Court. That led to questions about whether his ruling applied only to couples named in the lawsuit.

As NPR's Eyder Peralta noted, "Hinkle clarified that this issue is settled, and it's not his order that compels clerks to issue marriage licenses — it's the U.S. Constitution."

Florida now joins more than 30 states and Washington, D.C., where gay marriages are legal.

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