MIAMI (CBSMiami) – The Key West same-sex couple who filed a lawsuit in Monroe County to be allowed to marry is asking the Third District Court of Appeal to fast track their case to Florida’s Supreme Court.
Aaron Huntsman and William Lee Jones met in 2003 and had a commitment ceremony the following year, but wanted to make it legal where they live—so they filed a suit in Monroe County.
The lawsuit contended that the same-sex marriage ban–approved overwhelmingly by voters in 2008—violated the federal 14th Amendment’s guarantee of equal protection under the law.
Monroe County Circuit Judge Luis Garcia had ruled that marriage licenses could be issued in Monroe County but that was blocked by an automatic stay triggered when Republican Attorney General Pam Bondi filed notice of the state’s appeal.
Now Huntsman and Jones are asking the Third District Court of Appeal to fast track their case to the state’s Supreme Court.
The certification of appeal to Florida Supreme Court states that banning same-sex couples from marriage violates the Equal Protection and Due Process Clauses of the federal Constitution.
Because of the ban, according to the appeal, the “Plaintiffs and other same-sex couples in this state continue to be denied marriage licenses and excluded from the protections of marriage in violation of their fundamental right to marry and to equal protection of the laws.”
The appeal states that “Florida’s law barring same-sex couples from marriage is an issue of great public importance that has a great effect on the proper administration of justice throughout the state” and that a decision from the Supreme Court would provide uniform direction and guidance.
On Friday, agreeing with Judge Garica in the Keys, Circuit Judge Sarah Zabel overturned Florida’s ban on same-sex marriage in a ruling that applies to Miami-Dade County Friday.