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Florida Keys' First Gay Marriage Becomes Public Celebration

Aaron Hunstman and William Lee Jones were the first gay couple to receive a marriage license and wed in Key West.
Aaron Hunstman and William Lee Jones were the first gay couple to receive a marriage license and wed in Key West.
Aaron Hunstman and William Lee Jones were the first gay couple to receive a marriage license and wed in Key West.
Credit Carol Tedesco / Florida Keys News Service
Aaron Hunstman and William Lee Jones were the first gay couple to receive a marriage license and wed in Key West.

At 12:18 a.m. Tuesday, the two men who won the first ruling overturning Florida's ban on gay marriage became the first gay couple to get married in Monroe County.

Aaron Huntsman and William Lee Jones exchanged vows in front of 500 people — including close friends, attorneys, total strangers, TV crews and a few tourists.

The Rev. Steve Torrance, a chaplain with the Key West Police Department and minister with the Metropolitan Community Church declared them legally married, and the couple was greeted with cheers, applause and the sound of a conch shell.

Huntsman's best man Michael Hudson said he was there to support his friend but also because he was delighted that gay marriage had finally happened here.

Aaron Huntsman and William Lee Jones, the first same sex couple to be wed in Key West, show off their wedding bands.
Aaron Huntsman and William Lee Jones, the first same sex couple to be wed in Key West, show off their wedding bands.

"There's really no words... I came out when I was 16 and I'm 54 now — who would ever think I could be married? In Florida? Really?" Hudson said. "This is wonderful."

After the ceremony and even more photos, Huntsman and Lee got into an electric car decorated with balloons and they headed for Aqua, the nightclub where Huntsman tends bar, for a reception. Meanwhile, on the courthouse steps, the Rev. Torrance was marrying two more couples.

See all of our gay marriage coverage at http://wlrn.org/marriage-all

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