Key West bartenders Aaron Huntsman and William Lee Jones, the first gay couple in Florida to win the right to marry, led Saturday night’s Fantasy Fest parade.
Huntsman and Jones rode the Duval Street parade atop a giant wedding cake. The men were joined by 33 couples dressed in wedding attire.
Here’s the complete news release from the Florida Keys News Bureau:
KEY WEST, Fla. -- Two fighters for the Florida Keys' same-sex marriage equality led Saturday night's lavish 3 Wishes.com Fantasy Fest Parade in Key West, capping 10 days of masking and costuming events in the festival that ended Sunday.
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Parade grand marshals Aaron Huntsman and William Lee Jones won a landmark court ruling overturning Florida's statewide same-sex marriage ban for Florida Keys residents. A subsequent appeal by Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi means they still can't marry, but their parade float proclaimed their desire to tie the knot.
“Our float was designed for us. It's a wedding cake with the rainbow over top of it symbolizing the marriage equality that we're aiming for,” said Jones, who rode atop the float with Huntsman while 33 other couples in wedding attire marched beside it.
“I hope that our appearance as grand marshals of Fantasy Fest will show the rest of the state, and our state attorney general and our governor, that we're all one human family and that we need equality now,” said Huntsman. “And no more wasting taxpayers' money. Let's get it done.”
More than 50,000 spectators, some dressed in flamboyant costumes lined Key West's downtown streets for the procession of more than 40 motorized floats and costumed marching groups.
A number of parade entries illustrated the festival theme of “Animeted Dreams & Adventures,” inspired by Japanese anime and other animation. Standouts included a troupe of colorful cartoon-like superheroes and villains, a “Hello Kitty” spoof and a float bearing costumed “party animals.”
Fantasy Fest 2015, themed “All Hallows Intergalactic Freak Show,” is scheduled Oct. 23 through Nov. 1 with the highlight parade on Halloween night.