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Monday, July 21, 2014

Gay Florida Couple In Limbo After Winning Right To Marry

William Jones, left, and his partner, Aaron Huntsman, speak with the media Thursday, July 17. The couple is challenging the state of Florida's ban on gay marriage.  (Rob O'Neal/AP/Key West Citizen)

William Jones, left, and his partner, Aaron Huntsman, speak with the media Thursday, July 17. The couple challenged the state of Florida’s ban on gay marriage. (Rob O’Neal/Key West Citizen via AP)

3:30 p.m. ET update: Monroe Chief Circuit Judge Luis Garcia has denied the motion by Aaron Huntsman and William “Lee” Jones to lift the stay on the ruling that Florida’s ban on same-sex marriage violates the U.S. Constitution. This means, for now, that Monroe County will not issue marriage licenses to gay couples. The case now heads to an appellate court.

A county in Florida could join 17 states and the District of Columbia in allowing same sex marriage. Aaron Huntsman and William “Lee” Jones will be among the first in line for a marriage license.

The two bartenders from Key West have been together for 11 years, and in April they sued, arguing that the 2008 amendment in the Florida Constitution banning gay marriage violated their rights under the U.S. Constitution.

In Monroe County last Thursday, state court Judge Luis Garcia agreed with them, requiring that county to approve same-sex marriage licenses.

Within hours, the state’s Attorney General Pam Bondi filed a notice of appeal, staying the ruling — effectively putting it on hold. The judge could make a decision on that today.

Amid the flurry of legal activity and uncertainty, Huntsman and Jones join Here & Now’s Jeremy Hobson to discuss the case.

Guests

  • Aaron Huntsman and William “Lee” Jones, bartenders in Key West and plaintiffs in Huntsman v. Heavilin.

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Robin Young and Jeremy Hobson host Here & Now, a live two-hour production of NPR and WBUR Boston.

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