MIAMI — A federal judge says that Florida’s county court clerks have a legal duty to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples, but he has stopped short of ordering them to do so.

U.S. District Judge Robert Hinkle issued a ruling Thursday in Tallahassee federal court responding to requests to clarify his previous order that Florida’s same-sex marriage ban was unconstitutional. He stayed that order, but the stay is scheduled to expire at the end of the day Monday.

The association representing county clerks said the ruling applies only to Washington County, where a lawsuit filed by two men became a key basis for Hinkle’s order. Gay rights groups said Hinkle’s order applies statewide.

Hinkle warned Thursday that clerks who don’t start issuing the licenses when the stay expires could face future lawsuits or other legal consequences. Hinkle said while his order doesn’t require a clerk to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples, “the Constitution requires the clerk to issue such licenses.”

The National Center for Lesbian Rights and American Civil Liberties Union in Florida cheered Hinkle’s ruling Thursday.

“We expect all clerks to respect the ruling. But if not, we are committed to ensuring marriage equality in all 67 counties in Florida and we would like to hear from any couples that are wrongfully denied a license after the stay expires,” said Daniel Tilley, an attorney on LGBT rights for the ACLU of Florida.

An Associated Press survey of Florida’s county clerks last week found that an overwhelming majority didn’t plan to issue marriage licenses Tuesday until they had further legal clarity.