US: Gay couples in Florida unsure of when they can marry

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Following several months of court rulings, gay and lesbian couples in the US state of florida are unsure of when they are able to marry.

Court officials in the state on Monday agreed to ask a federal judge to clarify where gay and lesbian couples will be able to marry from 5 January.

After a stay expires on that date, it is unclear whether one, or all Florida counties may allow same-sex couples to marry. The US Supreme Court recently refused to extend the stay beyond 5 January.

It appeared that the ruling would be limited to only one Florida state, but others are expected to follow suit.

Same-sex marriage campaigners, however, warned that new lawsuits may be filed if counties refuse to issue marriage licences to gay and lesbian couples.

“Clerks can stand in the doorway and try to block equality, or they can welcome gay couples who have waited for decades for this moment,” said Nadine Smith, chief executive officer of Equality Florida.

If the whole state allows same-sex marriages to take place, Florida would become the 36th US state to do so.