Pinellas Clerk of Court Ken Burke expects same-sex couples will show up to his office Jan. 6 to seek a marriage license.
At this point, they will leave empty-handed, and so will couples who try in Hillsborough, Pasco and Hernando counties.
“We’re sympathetic but we have to follow what we know is the direction of the court, based on advice from our legal counsel,” Burke said Monday, three days after a decision by the U.S. Supreme Court that gay marriage advocates say clears the way for clerks throughout the state to marry same-sex couples.
Gay-rights groups on Monday vowed to take legal action against Florida clerks who deny licenses to couples on Jan. 6. That’s the day after a federal judge’s stay on a ruling striking down the ban on gay marriage expires.