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Miami-Dade judge clears way for same-sex marriages to begin in Florida

@PatriciaMazzei @SteveRothaus

For same-sex couples waiting, some of them for years, to wed in Florida, the big day came Monday.

The ban that had kept them from marrying met its end, perhaps permanently, in Miami-Dade County on Monday afternoon — and overnight elsewhere in the state — after a years-long battle over what advocates have called a fundamental civil right.

Crying tears of joy and relief, men and women who had challenged the ban leaped to their feet and shrieked with joy inside downtown Miami’s historic courthouse Monday morning when a judge ruled with little fanfare that the couples could marry right away. They would have otherwise had to wait until after midnight Tuesday, when another judge’s ruling takes effect statewide.

Outside the court, the plaintiffs clasped hands and raised their arms in victory.

“It’s been a very emotional year for all of us, and we can’t wait to get married — in about an hour, I hope,” said Catherina Pareto, of Coconut Grove, as she held on to her partner of 14 years, Karla Arguello. They wore cream-colored dresses picked out for the occasion.

More here.