Main | Wednesday, April 02, 2014

FLORIDA: Key West Bartender Couple Files Marriage Equality Lawsuit

Two bartenders at Key West's popular 801 Bourbon Bar have filed a marriage equality lawsuit against the office of the Monroe County Clerk after being refused a marriage license. Via Steve Rothaus at the Miami Herald:
“We want the right,” said Aaron Huntsman, 43, who has been partnered for more than a decade with William Lee Jones, 42. Huntsman and Jones, both bartenders at 801 Bourbon Bar on Duval Street, want to wed on June 10. “It’s going to be our 11-year anniversary being together and the 10-year anniversary of our commitment ceremony on the Las Vegas strip.” Ron Saunders, general counsel for the clerk’s office told the Florida Keys Reporter that Heavilin’s staff had no choice but to deny the men a license. "Until it changes or is found unconstitutional, it is the law. No clerk in the state can do anything until a judge rules otherwise or the law changes." The men’s 17-page lawsuit mirrors a case filed in January by six same-sex couples and Equality Florida, the state’s largest LGBT-rights group. They sued Miami-Dade County Clerk Harvey Ruvin after his office declined to issue the men and women marriage licenses. That case, assigned to Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Sarah Zabel, is pending.
Jones says, "I really feel Monroe County - Key West - if it's going to be done anywhere, it’s going to be done here. We have a history. It's a little more open. Miami’s beautiful, Miami’s Miami. But people come down here and expect something like this to happen in Key West. We’re going to change it here." The couple is being represented by a small Key West law firm.

RELATED: In January, Equality Florida and the National Center for Lesbian Rights filed a marriage equality suit on behalf of six local couples. Last month the Orlando-based Liberty Counsel, who authored Florida's constitutional ban on same-sex marriage, filed a motion to intervene in the case. Also last month, the ACLU filed a lawsuit which demands that Florida recognize legal out-of-state marriages.

Labels: , , ,

comments powered by Disqus