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Hundreds of people in Key West celebrate same-sex marriage ruling

Celebrants included Aaron Huntsman, Lee Jones

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(Andy Newman, Rob O'Neal, Florida Keys News Bureau)

KEY WEST, Fla. – Several hundred people celebrated Friday evening in Key West after the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling that same-sex couples have the right to marry nationwide, the Florida Keys News Bureau reports.

Celebrants included Aaron Huntsman and Lee Jones, whose lawsuit helped pave the way for marriage equality in Florida. The Florida Keys News Bureau reports their marriage on Jan. 6 was the Florida Keys' first legal same-sex wedding.

"We're so happy and we're so proud of all the plaintiffs across the United States that have been fighting for this, and the lawyers and the teams. Over 40 years of cases and we finally have the freedom to marry across the United States," Huntsman said. "We were the first couple to get a ruling overturning the ban (in Florida) on same-sex marriage; we were the first couple to be actually married here in Monroe County, in Key West -- and we are so happy that everybody has the freedom to marry across the United States now."

The city elected an openly gay mayor in 1983, and many other high-profile elected and appointed civic positions have been and are held by gays, the Florida Keys News Bureau reports. Key West and the surrounding Monroe County adopted the "One Human Family" motto in 2000, proclaiming equality and acceptance for everyone.

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--Photos courtesy of Andy Newman and Rob O'Neal, Florida Keys News Bureau