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Broward, Palm Beach Courts Plan Group Weddings For Gay Couples

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Andy Newman
/
Florida Keys News Bureau

UPDATE Jan. 2, 4:23 p.m.: A spokesperson from the Palm Beach County Clerk of Court's office said clerk Sharon Bock will perform a group wedding for gay couples at 12:01 a.m. Tuesday.

The office will begin processing same-sex marriage licenses at 10:30 p.m. Monday.

A statement from Monroe County's Clerk of Courts says that office will process up to 100 marriage-license applications during regular office hours Monday, issuing the first licenses at 12:01 a.m. Tuesday.

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The Broward County Clerk of Court's office said Friday it will begin issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples at 12:01 a.m. Tuesday, Jan. 6.

The notice came the morning after U.S. District Judge Robert L. Hinkle issued a clarification to his ruling declaring Florida's ban on gay marriage unconstitutional. Amid several suits filed on behalf of gay couples seeking to marry in the state, Hinkle specified his ruling applies to all cases in all Florida counties.

The ruling is stayed until Jan. 6. On Jan. 1, the judge said any clerk who upholds the ban on same-sex marriages once the stay expires would be violating the U.S. Constitution.

The Clerk of Court's office also plans to hold a group wedding 3 a.m. Tuesday at the central court.

"I don't know how many people we're going to get," Broward Court Clerk Howard Forman said Friday. "I'm sure we're going to get more than a few and we're prepared to meet the challenge."

The law usually requires a 72-hour waiting period until a marriage license is issued but Forman says the waiting period will be waived, for three days only, as a hardship.

Below, read the full notice from the Broward office.

Important Notice Same-Sex Marriage: PURSUANT TO MOTION TO CLARIFY ECF NO. 99 ORDERED JANUARY 1, 2015 BY UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE ROBERT L. HINKLE, BEGINNING AT 12:01 a.m. ON JANUARY 6, 2015, THE BROWARD CLERK'S OFFICE WILL BEGIN ISSUING SAME-SEX MARRIAGE LICENSES AND PERFORMING SAME-SEX MARRIAGES. PLEASE REFER TO THE SCHEDULE BELOW FOR LOCATIONS AND HOURS OF OPERATION. THIS SCHEDULE CHANGE APPLIES TO THE MARRIAGE DIVISION AT THE CENTRAL COURTHOUSE ONLY. THERE WILL BE NO CHANGE IN THE HOURS OF OPERATION FOR ANY OTHER DIVISION OF THE CLERK’S OFFICE. JANUARY 6, 2015 CENTRAL COURTHOUSE ONLY 12:01 a.m. – 4:00 a.m. - Group wedding at 3:00 a.m., for those who are eligible. (Family and friends are welcomed.)