As you know, marriage equality remains illegal in Texas, where the lawmakers, at least the GOP, are keen to keep it that way. Hoping against hope to actually tie the knot, though, gay couple Mark “Major” Jiminez and Beau Chandler headed to the Dallas County Clerk's office yesterday to request a marriage license. Obviously they were turned down.
The men, however, refused to accept such an injustice, handcuffed themselves to each other and staged a sit-in. They were arrested a few hours later and may criminal trespass charges, which could in turn lead to a $2,000 fine and 180 days in jail. But reading over the Dallas Voice report, it seems everyone involved, including the clerks and arresting officers, were actually on the couple's side:
Sr. Cpl. Laura Martin, LGBT liaison officer for the Dallas Police Department, accompanied the group, even though she didn’t have direct jurisdiction since they were in a county building…. “I told them if they want to smoke, do it before going upstairs,” Martin said. “And have a full belly.”
“They’re the nicest couple,” Martin said of Chandler and Jiminez. “They’re the first guys after any protest to come up and thank the officers.”
Once in the license bureau on Thursday afternoon, Chandler and Jiminez filled out the paperwork. Chandler crossed out the word “bride” and wrote “not applicable.”
Before being called to the counter, the couple sat waiting next to a straight couple also applying for a license. Jiminez explained to them why they were there, and the couple wished them luck.
“God bless you,” Regina Johnson said to Jiminez and Chandler. “Good luck. You’re in our prayers.”
Clerk’s assistant Melinda Saavedra called Jiminez and Chandler and asked for their IDs. She checked to make sure one wasn’t there as a proxy.
“We pointed out subsection B that invalidates all marriages,” Chandler said. He was referring to the constitutional amendment that bans same-sex marriage in Texas. “She got teary-eyed when I said we love each other and want to get married.”
See some pictures and video of Chandler and Jiminez's action AFTER THE JUMP.