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A judge in Florida ruled Monday that gay couples could marry immediately in Miami-Dade County, and a ban on gay marriage elsewhere in the state is set to expire at midnight. Florida will become the 36th state where gay marriage is legal.

Circuit Judge Sarah Zabel lifted a stay she had placed on her own ruling in July that Florida’s ban on gay marriage was unconstitutional. A federal judge has also found the ban unconstitutional. A hold on that ruling expires at midnight.

Several states are urging the U.S. Supreme Court to settle the issue. The justices will have their first private conference on Friday about whether to take up pending marriage cases.


— Pete Williams with The Associated Press