Same-sex marriage became legal today in the State of Florida, but three counties have decided not to perform any courthouse wedding ceremonies to avoid marrying gay people.
According to The New York Times, the state's ban on gay marriages was lifted at midnight by Judge Sarah Zabel, of the Miami-Dade Circuit Court, in response to a federal ruling last week in Florida that cleared the way for same-sex marriage.
Clerks in Duval, Clay and Baker counties will have to issue marriage licenses to gay couples, but say they will not perform any more courthouse weddings.
“It was decided as a team, as an office, this would be what we do so that there wouldn’t be any discrimination,” Duval Clerk of Courts Ronnie Fussell told Jacksonville.com. “The easiest way is to not do them at all.”
“I believe marriage is between a man and a woman,” added Fussell. “Personally it would go against my beliefs to perform a ceremony that is other than that.”
Equality Florida co-founder Nadine Smith, a LGBT advocate, countered, “I think it would be outrageous for clerks to change the rules simply because gay couples are getting married."
"The courts have successfully invalidated the votes of over 8 million Floridians who spoke on this issue clearly and decisively in 2008," Harry Mihet, an attorney with the Christian-based Liberty Counsel, told OneNewsNow.
Mihet was referring to a 2008 vote by Floridians to deny gay people the right to marry.
"[Some counties] will stop officiating or solemnizing marriages altogether, although they cannot stop issuing licenses," added Mihet. "So they will license homosexual marriages, but they will not officiate any marriages in order to avoid being forced to officiate a homosexual marriage against their conscience."
Mihet also claimed that the "destruction of marriage has been [the homosexual activists'] goal all along."
However, heterosexual marriage is still legal in Florida and was never an issue with gay activists.