A Monroe County same-sex couple celebrated Thursday what they say is a huge legal victory after Circuit Judge Luis Garcia ruled in their favor, saying that the Florida constitutional amendment that defines marriage as between one man and one woman is discriminatory and unconstitutional.


William Lee Jones and Aaron Huntsman partied with about 100 people at a Key West nightclub, despite the fact that Florida's attorney general immediately appealed the ruling, halting the possibility of any wedding ceremonies legally taking place in Monroe County for the time being.


In the meantime, opponents of same-sex marriage continue the fight ahead of another pending ruling in Miami-Dade where six same-sex couples are awaiting word from Judge Sarah Zabel on their lawsuit in that county.


Eladio Armesto with the Catholic Family Coalition spoke out on a conference call with the media saying it has come to the group's attention that Judge Zabel has a conflict of interest in the case, reportedly having accepted campaign contributions from attorneys representing the plaintiffs in the Miami-Dade suit.


Lawyers for the couples have made a motion for a summary judgment in the case which means the judge, herself, can rule on the matter without testimony and a trial.


Opponents says Floridians had the last word when they voted for a constitutional amendment defining marriage as between one man and one woman.





(Photo: Andy Newman / Florida Keys News Bureau)