The state of Florida on Tuesday began recognizing the marriages of its gay employees for the purpose of benefits.

According to The Miami Herald, the Florida Department of Management Services notified state agencies and university benefit coordinators that they could begin enrolling married gay employees in family plans.

“Employees whose marriages will be legally recognized in Florida as of Jan. 6, 2015, have a qualifying status change event window between Tuesday, Jan. 6, 2015, through Friday, March 6, 2015, to enroll in a family plan,” Suzette Furlong, the agency's operations chief, said in a memo.

On Tuesday, a federal judge's order striking down the state's gay marriage ban took effect, sending hundreds of couples rushing to county clerk's offices to get hitched.

(Related: “Big Bang”: Nearly 1,200 gay couples marry in Florida's 20 largest counties.)

Spouses of gay state employees may also now include their spouse as a beneficiary for their retirement plans.

The ACLU of Florida represents some of the plaintiff couples challenging the ban.

“God, I hope nobody is surprised that state officials now are following the judge's order. That's their duty,” said Howard Simon, the group's executive director.

“This is what our case was all about, affecting the lives of real families and real people in Florida. It was always all about protecting and strengthening families,” he added. “They are implementing what they've been ordered to do.”