Ruling clears way for gay marriage

Ruling clears way for gay marriage

WEST PALM BEACH, FL (WFLX) - Marion Harrison and Wayne Johnson have 31 years of memories. "I've waited a long time to the marry the man I love," said Johnson.

Harrison is a reverend at Metropolitan Community Church of the Palm Beaches. Once he and his partner get their marriage license Tuesday, they plan to be the first ones married by the pastor of church. "I think you always look forward to that day when it will finally become a reality, and you just never give up hope because what's right is right," said reverend Harrison.

The couple exchanged wedding bands 27 years ago during a church ceremony in St. Louis. "We definitely felt married in the eyes of our church. We could have gone to many different places to get married, but then to come back to Florida," added Johnson.

Florida voters enacted a gay marriage ban in 2008. A Florida Panhandle case challenged that ban in court and a federal judge ruled it unconstitutional. Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi has fought to halt same-sex marriages by issuing a stay on that ruling, but on Jan. 6 it will expire.

U.S. District Judge Robert Hinkle has clarified that all of Florida's 67 county clerks are required to issue marriage licenses to gay couples. "This really makes it official, and I think in the eyes of society, we're on an equal plane now," said Harrison.

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