Fort Lauderdale Holding Massive Same-Sex Wedding Tuesday Morning at Courthouse (UPDATE)
Update and CORRECTION: The earlier version of this post reporting of a mass wedding on Fort Lauderdale Beach was incorrect. There will be a mass wedding at 3 a.m. Tuesday, but it will be held at the Broward County Courthouse in Fort Lauderdale.
The courthouse wedding will take place on the steps of the courthouse, located on 201 SE Sixth St. in Fort Lauderdale.
Palm Beach County will also hold a mass wedding one minute past midnight Tuesday at the southern branch of the Palm Beach County Courthouse, located at 200 W. Atlantic Ave. in Delray Beach.
The Palm Beach County Clerk's Office will begin taking license applications Monday at 10:30 p.m.
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Fort Lauderdale has the highest concentration of same-sex couples in the U.S. It also brings in 1.3 million LGBT visitors who spend $1.4 billion on tourism. So it only stands to reason that the city celebrates the state allowing same-sex couples by holding a mass wedding for LGBT couples.
A federal stay that was holding up the implementation of same-sex marriage is set to expire at midnight, meaning LGBT couples will be free to marry in Florida.
Broward County Clerk Howard Forman has said that same-sex couples will be issued marriage licenses at the clerk's main office in Fort Lauderdale, come one minute past midnight Tuesday. Then, at 3:00 a.m., the city will begin its mass wedding at the courthouse steps.
"It will be a big happening, that's for sure," Forman told the Miami Herald.
In anticipation for a big gathering, Howard also says he hired extra clerks to work Tuesday. "I deputized them already," he said.
As for the planned beach wedding, the Fort Lauderdale Visitors and Convention Bureau has been busy setting things up as January 6 got closer. The plan so far is to bring 100 couples to the beach in order to wed them in celebration of the historic date, and also to bring attention to the 100th anniversary of Broward County.
No date or time has been set. Calls to the visitors bureau have yet to be returned.
"We're going to pull out all the stops, just like a proud father does when their child marries," Nicki Grossman, president of the Visitors Bureau, told the Sun-Sentinel.
Of course, with the stay expiring, demand for licenses has been high.
According to Forman, there is no set number of how many couples are expected to show up to get married at the Broward central courthouse office Tuesday. But, he says, there is a "pent-up demand" for licenses in Fort Lauderdale as well as Oakland Park and Wilton Manors.
"If they want to participate, have them come by and just be patient," Forman said.
Anyone who wants to marry Tuesday at the Broward Clerk's other office will have to wait until regular hours, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
For more info on applying for a license, you can visit the Broward County Clerk of Courts website.
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