The Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals on Wednesday refused to block a ruling that struck down Florida's ban on gay marriage from taking effect next month.

U.S. District Judge Robert L. Hinkle of Tallahassee declared the ban invalid on Thursday, August 21 but stayed his order pending an appeal. On November 5, he ordered Florida officials to begin issuing marriage licenses and recognizing the out-of-state marriages of gay couples starting on January 6.

Florida asked the Eleventh Circuit to block Hinkle's order from taking effect. In a brief 3-page order, a 3-judge panel refused, saying: “Having reviewed and fully considered the Motion, the parties' briefs, and the orders issued by the District Court in the proceedings below, the Court hereby denies Appellants' Motion.”

Plaintiffs in the case, Brenner v. Scott, include 10 gay couples, including 1 seeking to get married, and SAVE, an LGBT rights advocate. The ACLU of Florida represents some couples in the case.

“The Court effectively ruled that the State does not have a likelihood of succeeding in its appeal,” ACLU of Florida Attorney Daniel Tilley said in an emailed statement. “The stories of the individuals represented in our case demonstrate that Florida's ban on marriages for same-sex couples hurts Florida families, and we are hopeful that that harm will finally be coming to an end soon.”

Florida officials are likely to attempt a last-ditch request to the Supreme Court, but justices have consistently denied such requests since October 6, when they turned away appeals in cases challenging bans in five states.

Two additional states, Georgia and Alabama, are under the Eleventh Circuit's jurisdiction.

Evan Wolfson, president of Freedom to Marry, applauded the ruling.

“The 11th Circuit did the right thing today by refusing to delay marriages for same-sex couples in Florida any longer,” Wolfson said in a statement. “As the first joyful weddings take place, Floridians will see firsthand that the freedom to marry helps families and communities, and harms no one. And against this backdrop of happy families and more marriages, we hope the court soon hands down a final ruling that ensures that all committed couples in the Sunshine State, as well as Georgia and Alabama, finally have the freedom to marry the person they love.”