Lesbian Seeking Marriage License Arrested in NC

Nine gay couples turned away from registry office

By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff

Posted May 11, 2012 2:13 AM CDT | Updated May 11, 2012 4:31 AM CDT

(Newser) – A lesbian who refused to leave a North Carolina government office without a wedding license was taken away in handcuffs yesterday after what organizers say was the first of many protests against the state's newly passed gay marriage ban. After a march through downtown Winston-Salem, nine gay and lesbian couples—some of them with their children—presented completed forms and identification to the local Register of Deeds office but were refused a license, reports AP.

"My wife and I have been together for nine years," one woman told the clerk after asking him to write "denied" on the application form. "We have been together through a natural disaster—we came from New Orleans. We have been together from the day we met each other, unwavering. And one day, I hope that you guys will accept us." Mary Jamis, 52, and a heterosexual friend were arrested, and charged with second-degree trespass after staging a sit-in when Jamis was denied a marriage license.

A couple holding two children are refused a marriage license at the Forsyth County Register of Deeds office in Winston-Salem.
A couple holding two children are refused a marriage license at the Forsyth County Register of Deeds office in Winston-Salem.   (AP Photo/Bob Leverone)
A same-sex couple attempts to obtain a marriage license at the Forsyth County Register of Deeds office in Winston-Salem.
A same-sex couple attempts to obtain a marriage license at the Forsyth County Register of Deeds office in Winston-Salem.   (AP Photo/Bob Leverone)
Mary Lee Bradford of Winston-Salem and Mary Jamis of Mocksville are handcuffed after they refused to leave the Forsyth County Register of Deeds office in Winston-Salem.
Mary Lee Bradford of Winston-Salem and Mary Jamis of Mocksville are handcuffed after they refused to leave the Forsyth County Register of Deeds office in Winston-Salem.   (AP Photo/Bob Leverone)
Mary Lee Bradford of Winston-Salem, left, Mary Jamis of Mocksville, center and Christine Regan of Winston-Salem stage a sit-in at the Forsyth County Register of Deeds office.
Mary Lee Bradford of Winston-Salem, left, Mary Jamis of Mocksville, center and Christine Regan of Winston-Salem stage a sit-in at the Forsyth County Register of Deeds office.   (AP Photo/Bob Leverone)
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