Florida's Duval, Clay and Baker counties have ended the practice of courthouse weddings to avoid performing ceremonies for gay couples, the Florida Times-Union reports.

Florida is waiting for U.S. District Judge Robert Hinkle to clarify whether his ruling to strike down the state's ban on marriage between couples of the same sex actually applies to the whole state. If it does, Duval Clerk of Courts Ronnie Fussell, Clay Clerk Tara Green and Baker Clerk Stacie Harvey will be legally obligated to issue marriage licenses to such couples.

From the Times-Union:

Fussell says the decision came after a series of discussion with members of his staff who currently officiate wedding ceremonies. None of them, including Fussell, felt comfortable doing gay weddings so they decided to end the practice all together, he said.

"It was decided as a team, as an office, this would be what we do so that there wouldn't be any discrimination," Fussell said. "The easiest way is to not do them at all."

Uh huh. "I believe marriage is between a man and a woman," Fussell continued. "Personally it would go against my beliefs to perform a ceremony that is other than that."

"I needed the space and our county we're in the Bible Belt," Baker Clerk Harvey told the Times-Union. "If we're made by the law to issue a gay marriage license (we will) do that, but we are not mandated to marry couples in our courthouse."

[Image via AP Images]