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Judge gives 2nd Florida county permission to start marrying gay couples from Tuesday

Judge gives 2nd Florida county permission to start marrying gay couples from Tuesday

A second Florida county will be able to start issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples next Tuesday after a judge clarified an earlier ruling.

The Florida Association of Court Clerks and Comptrollers had previously stated that it believed that only Washington County would be legally able to issue marriage licenses to gay couples starting 6 January when the state’s ban on same-sex marriage is lifted.

However Circuit Court Judge Timothy Shea ruled yesterday that Orange County could legally do so as of next Tuesday as well.

US District Judge Robert Hinkle had previously ruled that Florida’s ban on gay marriage was unconstitutional but he stayed the effect of his decision until after 5 January while the state appealed his ruling.

The US Supreme Court declined to hear Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi’s appeal.

However as the lawsuit against the ban on same-sex marriage only named the clerk’s office in Washington County it was thought only that county clerk would be able to issue marriage licenses to gay couples.

Orange County Clerk of Courts Tiffany Moore-Russell had sought an emergency petition to clarify whether she also would be able to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

‘I thank the Court for providing clarity on this issue. I specifically want to thank Judge Shea for his guidance in this matter,’ Moore-Russell said, according to My Fox Orlando.

‘Since the question of issuing same-sex marriage licenses was first directed at Clerks, my office has consistently stated that we would continue to seek judicial clarification. That is why we filed this emergency petition, and we are grateful for the clear direction it provides as we move closer to January 6.’

It remains unclear at this stage whether other clerks offices in the state will begin marrying same-sex couples on Tuesday.’