FLORIDA: Marriage Equality Suit To Be Heard Today In Monroe County

The Miami-Dade County case was heard last week and today is the Monroe County case.

Two gay Key West bartenders are prepared to get married Monday in a Plantation Key courthouse if Monroe County Circuit Judge Luis Garcia strikes Florida’s same-sex marriage ban. “That’s all it takes is a walk across the hall. It’s just about 10 feet from the door of the court to the door of the clerk’s office,” said Bernadette Restivo, an attorney for Aaron Huntsman and William Lee Jones, who in April sued Monroe County Clerk Amy Heavilin for a marriage license. Huntsman and Jones, both bartenders at 801 Bourbon Bar on Duval Street, are longtime Keys residents who met years ago at a gay pride celebration. Huntsman, at the time, was the reigning Mr. Pride. They wanted to wed on June 10, their 11th anniversary as a couple. The case mirrors a suit filed in January by six same-sex couples who want to marry in Miami-Dade County. The men and women, along with Equality Florida Institute, sued Miami-Dade Clerk Harvey Ruvin after his office denied them licenses.

The hearing begins at 9:30AM. As in the Miami-Dade case, today’s plaintiffs are asking for a summary judgment.