MIAMI — Florida's ban on marriages between same-sex couples is headed for a midnight end, with wedding vows planned around the state.

A stay expires late Monday in a federal judge's ruling striking down the ban enacted in 2008 by voters. Several court clerks are planning to begin issuing wedding licenses to gay couples beginning at 12:01 a.m. Tuesday, with some also scheduling early-morning marriage ceremonies.

A Miami-Dade County judge has a hearing Monday morning on whether to lift a stay of her previous ruling invalidating the ban. In anticipation, gay couples married in other states set a mass renewal of vows Tuesday night in Miami Beach.

Judges in Florida and many other states have ruled in recent months that gay marriage bans are discriminatory and violate constitutional equal protection guarantees.


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