Two gay Key West bartenders arrived at court Monday clad in tuxedos to argue Florida marriage laws, with hopes to wed immediately following the hearing.
Aaron Huntsman and William Lee Jones, who have been together for 11 years, argue the state definition of marriage. The couple believes a popular vote must be overturned if it is discriminatory, irrational, or violates individual freedoms.
“Lee and I love each other, we’ve been together for many years. We want to be treated like everyone else,” said Huntsman.
A 2008 Florida vote placed a same-sex marriage ban in the constitution with 62 percent of the voting population in favor of the man-woman-only definition of marriage. The state argues that it has no standing to redo a law on the books.
“It remains for this court to simply respect the decision made by voters,” said Assistant Florida Attorney General Adam Tanenbaum.
The couple’s attorney, Elena Vigil-Farinas, asserts this case is about freedom and equality and that although laws are written, they must fall.
“This is terrifying that this could set the precedent, which we hope it does,” said Jones.
Monroe County Judge Luis Garcia decided to take time before releasing the final decision and gave no indication as to when he will rule.
This same-sex marriage case comes only one week after a high-profile Miami-Dade case of six same-sex couples suing to overturn Florida’s man-woman-only definition of marriage. Like Garcia, Miami-Dade Judge Zabel has not yet ruled.