Some 37 years after Miami-Dade County saw one of the most notorious and vitriolic anti-gay legislative campaigns in U.S. history, the area has become the first place in Florida to allow same-sex marriages.
A judge on Monday lifted a legal stay for Miami-Dade hours before same-sex marriage was set to become legal across the state at midnight on Tuesday. Among couples who lined up Monday afternoon in Miami for marriage licenses were several who served as plaintiffs in a lawsuit that led a judge to rule in August that Florida's 2008 ban on same-sex marriage was discriminatory.
“I feel good. I am relieved. I feel vindicated,” plaintiff Catharina Pareto, of Coconut Grove, told The Miami Herald.
Pareto and her longtime partner, Karla Arguello, cheered in court Monday morning as Circuit Judge Sarah Zabel lifted the stay, which had been put in place during the appeals process following the August decision. Pareto and Arguello were then married by Zabel in her courtroom after obtaining a license.
“My daughter looks prettier today than ever," Pareto's mom told the Herald.
Check out photos from Florida's historic day: