Denial clears the way for marriage for same-sex couples to being at end of day January 5th.

Today the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals has denied the state’s motion for stay of a District Court ruling that overturned the state’s ban on marriage for same-sex couples. The stay is scheduled to expire at the end of the day on January 5th, enabling same-sex couples to apply for marriage licenses at that time.

“We are thrilled that the 11th Circuit has denied the state’s request to delay marriages in Florida. Every day of delay is another day of harm experienced by thousands of loving and committed same-sex couples in Florida. Now it’s time to break out the wedding bells,” said Nadine Smith, CEO of Equality Florida.  “Florida is ready for the freedom to marry!”

On August 21, US District Court Judge Robert Hinkle ruled in favor of the freedom to marry and respect for marriage legally performed between same-sex couples in other states in these two consolidated federal marriage cases,Brenner v. Scott  and Grimsley and Albu v. Scott.

The District Court placed a stay of their decision to allow time for appeals. The stay is scheduled to expire on January 5th. The state of Florida had requested an extension of the stay from the 11th Circuit Court until the appeals process if fully finished, while lawyers for the plaintiff couples had opposed any extension pointing to federal court ruling that struck down similar gay-marriage bans in other states.