Key West Is First In Florida To Offer Same-Sex Marriage

A judge in Monroe County, Florida, home to Key West, has ruled Florida's ban on same sex marriage to be unconstitutional and ordered that such marriages be allowed.

After deciding eleven years ago that they wanted to celebrate their love for each other by getting married, Aaron Huntsman and William Lee Jones have been fighting every way they knew how to. Now that fight is finally starting to come to an end for this longtime Key West, Florida couple. On Thursday, July 17, Monroe County Circuit Judge Luis Garcia announced his decision and told the Monroe County Clerk’s office to begin issuing marriage licenses to gay couples. Recognizing that there could be a tremendous response to this ruling and to make sure the county offices were ready, he ordered that his ruling go into effect on Tuesday, July 21.

“There aren’t words to describe how elated we both feel,” Mr. Huntsman said while celebrating with his life partner and several of their friends and lawyers when told of the news. “We live in one of the most popular destinations for island weddings, and now to be able to celebrate our own marriage, this is easily the second greatest day of my life, the first being the day I met Bill (Mr. Lee Jones.)”

Key West, Florida holds an international reputation as a great spot for island vacations and a mecca for gay people, both on vacation and looking for a vibrant, tolerant place to live, so everyone who works in the restaurant business is preparing for a significant uptick in business. Over at the Roof Top Café, one of the most sought after locations for wedding receptions, they have already been fielding calls from gay couples across the country that are looking to add a Key West wedding to their vacation plans.

The couple’s lawyer spoke with a slight tone of caution when asked about the effect of the ruling. “This is the ruling of one judge in one county, and unfortunately, because an appeal was filed, it means that there has been a stay on the ruling. However, in almost every state that had draconian bans on same sex marriage where those bans were over turned by the courts, it was always the action of a courageous county judge that started people on the path to victory. We are not surprised that, in Florida, such a judge would come from Key West, Florida.”

For more information about the Roof Top Café, please visit their website:

Jack Terry is a travel and lifestyle writer who has lived in Key West for several years. 

Categories: Weddings

Tags: island weddings, Key West, Key West Florida

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