As gay and lesbian couples began marrying Monday in one Florida county, foes conceded that the fight is over.

Wedding bells began ringing for gay couples a day earlier than expected in Miami-Dade County, where a state judge lifted a stay in her July ruling striking down Florida's gay marriage ban.

(Related: Miami-Dade begins issuing marriage licenses to gay couples.)

The ruling only affected Miami-Dade County, but a federal judge's ruling ending the ban statewide took effect at midnight.

“We're feeling that it's futile,” the Rev. O'Neal Dozier, founder of the Worldwide Christian Center Church in Pompano Beach, told the Sun-Sentinel. “We've lost this cultural fight.”

John Stemberger, whose Orlando-based Florida Family Policy Council campaigned for passage of Florida's 2008 voter-approved constitutional amendment limiting marriage to heterosexual unions, also sounded defeated.

“There could be an appeal to the 11th Circuit but I'm not sure how successful that would be given the fact that they've kicked it back once,” he told The Miami Herald.

(Related: Florida conservative willing to die opposing gay marriage; Says he's saving civilization.)