Few Florida clerks are preparing to
begin issuing marriage licenses to gay and lesbian couples on January
According to an AP survey, 46 clerks
said they would wait, while another 6 said they weren't certain.
Fourteen clerks did not respond to the survey.
Florida has 67 counties.
The Supreme Court last week refused to
delay implementation of a federal judge's ruling declaring the
state's ban unconstitutional, removing the last obstacle for it to
take effect after January 5, when the current stay expires.
The law firm Greenberg Traurig advised
clerks not a party to the litigation against issuing such licenses
starting next month, saying that the judge's injunction only applies
to one county.
“I'm not going to break the law,”
Paula O'Neill, the clerk for Pasco County, told the AP. “I'm not
going to issue licenses until it's legal.”
The legal group National Center for
Lesbian Rights (NCLR) on Wednesday warned clerks that they may be
held in contempt of court if they decide to ignore the decision.
Florida clerks who do not issue marriage licenses to gay couples may
be held liable.)