MIAMI (AP) - Court clerks around Florida are beginning to announce plans to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples next week following a federal judge's ruling.

Many clerks were reluctant to issue the licenses, and some feared they might face criminal charges. But U.S. District Judge Robert Hinkle's ruling on New Year's Day clarified that all 67 Florida clerks are obligated to begin issuing gay marriage licenses starting Tuesday.

Broward County clerk Howard Forman says his office will begin issuing licenses at 12:01 a.m. Tuesday and have a group wedding at 3 a.m. Osceola County is also planning post-midnight nuptials, and other counties plan to issue licenses to gay couples during regular business hours.

Still awaiting final decisions from judges on same-sex marriage licenses are Monroe and Miami-Dade counties.


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