Shawn S. Garvey, senior minister at First Congregational Church in Orlando, Florida, says he's looking forward to marrying gay and lesbian couples when a judge's ruling striking down Florida's ban on gay marriage takes effect on January 6.

“This church has had a long and proud history of social justice,” Garvey told the Orlando Sentinel. “This is a natural extension of the church's history in reaching out to different communities of the Greater Orlando area. We are absolutely thrilled at the prospect of this becoming finally legal in a couple of weeks. We are delighted.”

First Congregation is a member of the Cleveland, Ohio-based United Church of Christ (UCC), which filed the lawsuit that struck down North Carolina's ban.

“My hope and my prayer is that things will go smoothly on January 6,” Garvey added. “This is where my heart is on the issue, because I personally have so many gay and lesbian friends, and I would love to see them enter into marriage in all its intrinsic rights as my wife and I were able to.”

State officials, however, continue to claim that the judge's ruling only applies to one county, which has led to confusion among clerks.

(Related: 46 Florida clerks say they won't begin issuing marriage licenses to gay couples on Jan. 6.)