Gay and lesbian couples marry in Florida

Cathy Pareto and Karla Arguello and Jeff and Todd Delmay

Cathy Pareto and Karla Arguello and Jeff and Todd Delmay are married by Judge Sarah Zabel

Hundreds of same-sex couples are getting married in Florida today as gay marriage becomes legal in that US state.

Cathy Pareto and Karla Arguello and Jeff and Todd Delmay became the first same-sex couples to tied the knot in Florida on Monday.

They managed to convince a Miami-Dade county judge to let them marry a day before it was set become legal, their lawyer arguing that, “Another day the plaintiffs are denied their right to marry is a day that shames our county.”

They were married by the same judge at the clerk’s office across the road from the courthouse, reported Equality Florida.

Marriage equality became a reality across the rest of Florida from 12am on Tuesday morning, making it the 36th state in the US to allow same-sex marriages.

Openly lesbian financial guru Suze Orman said that she was “moved to tears seeing couples finally able to marry here in my home state of Florida.”

She added that “our work is not finished until we have secured the freedom to marry for once and for all throughout the entire country.”

The swing to marriage equality in the US had been rapid and dramatic. At this time last year, it was only legal in 16 states and Washington, D.C., affecting 34 percent of the country.

A year later, according to the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), over 216 million Americans – 70 percent of the country – now live in a state, including Florida, in which same-sex marriage is legal.

“The overwhelming tidal wave of court rulings over the last year has put America on the cusp of nationwide marriage equality,” commented HRC Legal Director Sarah Warbelow. “Committed and loving gay and lesbian couples in Florida are just as deserving of marriage rights as anyone else.”

She urged opponents of same-sex marriage to “stop fighting to uphold discrimination. As long as shameful marriage bans stay in place, real people and real families are harmed.”

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