First Gay Couples Marry in Fort Lauderdale With Laughter and Tears

Everything seemed quiet outside the courthouse in downtown Fort Lauderdale just before midnight. The only thing that hinted that there might be something monumental going on inside was the presence of about a dozen cops scattered around the entrance.

In a huge waiting room on the third floor, about 300 people hugged and kissed and hugged some more. They gathered, with numbered tickets in hand, for their chance to get married to the people they love. Today, January 6, 2015, is the first day that same-sex couples can legally marry in Florida. And these folks -- mostly couples, a few with friends, some who'd been waiting decades, others just months -- were ready to tie the knot the old-fashioned way, with a group of strangers turned friends and some pretty terrible wedding music blasting from speakers.

We happened to literally walk into the first gay couples trotting down the stairs to get their marriage licenses on the second floor. Their numbers had been called, and they were on their way to pay their dues and form legal unions.

See also: Gay Marriage Begins in Broward County (Photos)

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Liz has her master’s degree in religion from Florida State University. She has since written for publications and outlets such as Miami New Times, Rolling Stone, Pitchfork, Ocean Drive, the Huffington Post, NBC Miami, Time Out Miami, Insomniac, the Daily Dot, and the Atlantic. Liz spent three years as New Times Broward-Palm Beach’s music editor, was the weekend news editor at Inverse, and is currently the managing editor at Tom Tom Magazine.
Contact: Liz Tracy