Attorneys for Key West couple ask judge to lift stay on gay marriage ban
Motion seeks to allow Monroe County Clerk of Court to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples
KEY WEST, Fla. – Attorneys for a gay couple from Key West are asking a Monroe County judge to lift the stay preventing their clients from getting married.
Bernadette Restivo and Elena Vigil-Farinas filed an emergency motion Friday to lift a July stay by Monroe County Judge Luis M. Garcia, who ruled that a 2008 amendment to the state constitution defining marriage between a man and a woman violates the U.S. Constitution's guarantee of equal protection under the law.
The motion, filed on behalf of Aaron Huntsman and William Lee Jones, cites a federal judge's ruling that allows a stay challenging Florida's same-sex marriage ban to expire Jan. 5.
"Clearly, this is a stern judicial warning to Florida clerks of courts that they must issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples who request them," Restivo and Vigil-Farinas wrote in their motion.
They are asking the court "to exercise its discretion to lift the automatic stay that went into effect when the attorney general appealed" Garcia's ruling. The motion seeks "to authorize the Monroe County Clerk of Court to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples who apply for them."
Huntsman and Jones have already completed their paperwork to become Monroe County's first same-sex couple to get married. They filled out their application Friday in front of county clerk Amy Heavilin.
"We might be the first. We might not," Huntsman told Local 10 News reporter Glenna Milberg. "(It might be) somebody else. So it's just over with, so that's all that really matters."
Jones said it would be nice to be the first same-sex couple married in the Keys.
"But it's no big deal if we're not," he added.
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