Denied a marriage license, gay Key West couple sues county clerk alleging ban is unconstitutional

AaronWilliamAaron Huntsman and William Lee JonesDenied a marriage license, gay Key West couple sues county clerk alleging ban is unconstitutional

Aaron Huntsman and William Lee Jones have been a couple since 2003 and want to mark their anniversary in June by getting married.

But a voter-approved state constitutional amendment pushed by the Republican-controlled Legislature in 2008 allows only “the legal union of one man and one woman as husband and wife.”

Tuesday, Huntsman and Jones sued Monroe County Clerk Amy Heavilin in her capacity as clerk, challenging Amendment 2.

Their lawyer, Bernadette Restivo, filed the lawsuit the same morning as Huntsman and Jones applied for a marriage license at the County Clerk’s Office in Key West because, as expected, clerk staff denied the application, saying they had no choice.

“Until it changes or is found unconstitutional, it is the law,” said Ron Saunders, general counsel at the clerk’s office. “No clerk in the state can do anything until a judge rules otherwise or the law changes.”

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When there’s trouble in paradise…

The law offices of Restivo, Reilly & Vigil-Fariñas LLC are located in the Pink Plaza, 103400 Overseas Highway, Key Largo, Florida and 717 Southard Street, Key West, Florida. The firm was established in 2013, merging Elena Vigil-Fariñas PA with Restivo & Reilly LCC, which was named Employer of the Year by the Upper Keys Business and Professional Women’s Foundation in 2011.

The firm consists of Bernadette Restivo, Managing Partner; Jessica Reilly, Partner; Elena Vigil-Fariñas, Partner; and Thomas Hampton, Lora Damiani and William “Bou” Bosso as Of Counsel. While each of the attorneys of Restivo, Reilly & Vigil-Fariñas have had vast experience practicing “big city” law, they have all decided to increase their quality of life by moving to the Florida Keys, providing legal services to local residents and devoting themselves to serving the community. Restivo, Reilly & Vigil-Fariñas LLC prides itself as being a local law firm, serving Monroe and Miami-Dade County residents and earning a reputation as “the attorneys who care.”

Restivo, Reilly & Vigil-Fariñas LLC practices BP oil spill litigation, as well as family law, criminal law, immigration, dependency, personal injury and wrongful death, and appellate work; there is also a division to take care of your traffic tickets. Although Restivo, Reilly & Vigil-Fariñas, LLC is a relatively young firm, we have already been established as a major player in the Deepwater Horizon Economic Settlement program, and currently have more claims filed in the Claims Administration website than most other firms in Florida (as of the drafting of this memorandum, Restivo, Reilly & Vigil-Fariñas LLC represents 1300 claimants in the Deepwater Horizon Settlement website. As of this date, their clients have received over $12,000,000.00 in cash settlements.)

Restivo, Reilly & Vigil-Fariñas LLC is a member of the Chamber of Commerce in Key Largo, Key West and Ocean Reef. The firm is a strong believer in civic involvement and philanthropy, and supports major community organizations such as The United Way, Mariner’s Hospital, the Domestic Abuse Shelter, Coral Shores High School Boosters, and Samuels House. The attorneys can be heard weekly on Clear Channel Sun 103.1 FM’s Hoebee in the Afternoon Experiment and Ask-a-Lawyer.