By FloridaKeysNewsBureau For EyesOnNews.com,Jan 5, 2015 – KEY WEST, Fla. – Two Key West men, acclaimed as pioneers in Florida’s fight for same-sex marriage equality, completed their paperwork Friday to receive the Florida Keys’ first same-sex marriage license.
Aaron Huntsman and William Lee Jones walked into Key West’s Monroe County Courthouse and filled out their application to wed in front of circuit court clerk Amy Heavilin.
The moment was particularly meaningful for the duo because of their long fight for marriage equality.
In July 2014, in response to their lawsuit protesting Florida’s 2008 ban on same-sex marriage, Florida Keys Judge Luis Garcia ruled that the ban was discriminatory and unconstitutional.
But the state appealed, putting wedding plans on hold for Huntsman and Jones — until Thursday, when U.S. Judge Robert Hinkle ruled that Florida clerks can issue licenses to same-sex couples beginning at midnight Jan. 5.
“We had taken on this case not knowing whether we were going to win or not, but we always said since the beginning, if we could make the difference in just one person’s life, whether we won or lost, it would make all the difference in the world,” said Huntsman.
At the courthouse Friday, Huntsman and Jones displayed a certificate showing they had completed a pre-marital course, signed their application and paid the fee that will allow them to receive their license as soon as it becomes legal in Florida.
“Today we expedited the paperwork for Aaron and Lee so that, at the stroke of midnight on Monday, Jan. 5, we can immediately issue their marriage license,” said Heavilin.
The couple said they plan to be at the courthouse at midnight to receive it, and will exchange vows immediately afterward.
“After all the work and stuff we did trying to get this marriage equality thing through, it’s very relieving,” said Jones. “A lot of the stress is gone — now it’s just nerves for the wedding.”