WEST PALM BEACH, FL (WFLX) - More than 80 same-sex couples were legally married at the South Palm Beach County Courthouse shortly after midnight Tuesday.
Outside the courthouse music played, balloons tied to the railings on the courthouse steps waved in the air, and couples cheered in line.
John and Sheldon Goldstein shared one last dance before doing what they've been waiting to do for 17 years. "It means that our union, and our love, our relationship is just as equal as anybody else's," said John Goldstein.
The couple is one of dozens that prepared for a memorable night. Verneda Turnquist and her partner, Wanda Mason, were the first in line to say 'I do' at midnight. "We wanted to be first. We wanted to be in history," said Turnquist. "My name will be Wanda Turnquist," added Mason as she held on to her partner.
For the couple of 17 years, it's more than just carrying a name or a piece of paper. "She's the joy in my life, and I'm truly happy," added Turnquist.
Supporters say the long journey for marriage equality is finally over. Couples getting married at the South Palm Beach County Courthouse at midnight will not have to wait the three-day state requirement to get married, and they are very grateful for the clerks working. "Seriously, we just think that the more people that come out here tonight [Monday] not only gives it more validity, but it thanks the Palm Beach County Clerk," added Goldstein.
Celebrations were underway at the Metropolitan Community Church before the courthouse ceremonies. Mathew Chambers and Will Davis had a wedding ceremony at the church back in November. Now after 11 years, they plan to sign the dotted line Tuesday morning. "It's just an amazing day. You get goosebumps because it's an amazing day," said Chambers.
Marion Harrison and Wayne Johnson have been partners for 31 years. They too plan on getting hitched after the rest of the clerk locations begin issuing licenses Tuesday morning. "We've been aware of the trials and tribulations and the successes and the joys. It's just all mixed and mingled together right now," said Harrison.