Tuesday marked the first day same-sex couples could get married in Florida, and the state saw hundreds of people come out to receive their marriage licenses.
Florida became the 36th state in the U.S. to legalize same-sex marriage at the stroke of midnight between Monday and Tuesday. Some courthouses wasted no time and began to marry couples immediately.
One judge in Miami saw no reason to wait till midnight and began marrying people on Monday, when it was still technically illegal to do so. Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Sarah Zabel holds the honor of performing the state’s first same-sex union on Monday afternoon, according to the AP. Still, other counties held off until Tuesday.
Howard Forman, the clerk of courts in Broward County, wed 20 gay and lesbian couples at the same time in a five-minute ceremony at 3 a.m. Tuesday morning, according to the New York Times. As Forman announced the new marriages, cheers erupted from the surrounding crowd of family and friends who were present.
“We had been together so long, we hadn’t put a lot of importance in it,” said Cory Morton, a same-sex marriage license recipient. “It seemed so far-fetched…I found myself getting a little nervous on the way here,” Morton said, according to the Miami Herald.
However, not all Florida counties were celebrating with supporters of same-sex marriages.
Duval County Court Clerk Ronnie Fussell shutdown the courthouse chapel to all people who wished to receive marriages license, whether they be same-sex or opposite-sex marriages. A few other counties in northern Florida, where more conservative citizens live, also closed down their courthouses so as not to allow any marriages to take place.
Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi is pursuing an appeal of the decision to allow same-sex marriages to be legal in the state. In 2008, Florida had put a ban on same-sex marriages, and Bondi wants to uphold this previous ruling.
The political framework was ignored by many though as they gladly received their licenses.
“I’m elated,” said William Jones, describing his marriage to Aaron Huntsman. “Overjoyed that I am finally legally recognized with the man I have loved for 12 years now.”