Marriage equality is coming to Florida on Jan. 6 after the Supreme Court on Friday night refused Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi’s bid to extend a stay that prevented the state from recognizing the marriages of gay and lesbian couples. “The application for stay presented to Justice [Clarence] Thomas and by him referred to the Court is denied,” the Supreme Court announced Friday night. That would make Florida the 36th state, plus the District of Columbia, to recognize same-sex marriage. More significantly though, it means five of the country’s six most populous states will recognize same-sex unions, details the Washington Post.
The marriage equality fight in Florida, however, is not over. The 11th Circuit Court of Appeals still has to hear legal arguments appealing a ruling that said the state’s ban on same-sex marriage was unconstitutional. The Florida attorney general had said the state’s goal was to “have uniformity throughout Florida,” notes the Miami Herald. For now, it remains unclear whether all of the state’s 67 counties will start issuing marriage licenses. The state clerks association has warned members they could be violating Florida law if they issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples before the U.S. Supreme Court issues a definitive ruling on the issue.