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Gay Man Gives Emotional Speech After He and Partner are Denied Marriage License in Tennessee: VIDEO

Matt_raymie

Matt and Raymie live in Hamblen County, Tennessee. On Jan. 9th they applied for a marriage license in Morristown as part of the We Do campaign. They were turned away by a very polite clerk who was treated to a beautiful speech about what it would mean for them to be married.

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Comments

  1. It's a very nice speech, not angry but hopeful. Neither partner or boyfriend are accurate so they call each other husband even though it's "a lie" until the state will allow them to marry.

    It's hard to gauge the clerk's reaction. She's listening and smiling, but is it just a polite, professional smile? The moment they left she could have turned to her co-workers and said something nasty or maybe she agrees. Hard to say.

    Posted by: Caliban | Feb 12, 2013 10:40:13 AM


  2. I believe the clerk was respectful and she did actually thanked the couple for calling ahead to let her know of their arrival.
    She didn't have to do that. I would bet that she would be very happy to issue Matt and Raymie a license one day.

    Posted by: Brendan | Feb 12, 2013 10:51:37 AM


  3. That woman at the desk is not the one they need to convince.

    Posted by: Jack M | Feb 12, 2013 11:02:12 AM


  4. convince one, and that leads to another and another on and on.

    Posted by: mark | Feb 12, 2013 11:20:59 AM


  5. Maybe move out of the damn South, which is a hellhole in 95% of places? Why give money to places that hate you and are unlikely to change soon?

    Posted by: Paul R | Feb 12, 2013 11:34:02 AM


  6. Paul R., we should be fighting for full equality in every state in the union. Matt and Raymie and couples like them should not have to move to be treated equally under the law.

    They are doing the work that needs to be done to make it better in the South. We should support them.

    Posted by: Michael | Feb 12, 2013 11:40:26 AM


  7. Well, Paul R, I'm going to go with "because gay people are everywhere and deserve rights too." Should we just cede whole swaths of the country to the haters, write them off? It's not feasible for every gay person to move to the northeast or western states, and many don't want to live there. They have every bit as much right to live there as anyone, either because they were born there or by choice.

    As Harvey Milk said, "that child has several options: staying in the closet, and suicide. And then one day that child might open the paper that says "Homosexual elected in San Francisco" and there are two new options: the option is to go to California, or stay in San Antonio and fight."

    FWIW I live in TN, after many years in "the big city." There are trade-offs, advantages and disadvantages.

    Posted by: Caliban | Feb 12, 2013 11:45:06 AM


  8. It's kind of odd to try and convince the woman at the desk - she has not say over the matter and could be supportive of marriage equality, for all we know. I know it's just for a video and that the real intent is to convince the viewer of the video, but the setup is a little awkward, I think!

    Either way, seems like a very loving couple and I'm glad that the video was made.

    Posted by: J | Feb 12, 2013 12:01:18 PM


  9. It's kind of odd to try and convince the woman at the desk - she has not say over the matter and could be supportive of marriage equality, for all we know. I know it's just for a video and that the real intent is to convince the viewer of the video, but the setup is a little awkward, I think!

    Either way, seems like a very loving couple and I'm glad that the video was made.

    Posted by: J | Feb 12, 2013 12:01:19 PM


  10. I wasn't suggesting that everyone needs to move. More that I don't see the point of being granted a marriage license and paying taxes to a government that hates you.

    Believe me, I fully support and engage in activism. But I don't see change coming to lots of places until a federal decision against discrimination.

    I lived in the South for 28 years. Some of the nicest people in the world, and some of the most awful. Still, if you have your sights set on marriage, you need to fight for it in a more productive way or move somewhere it's legal. I don't think that actions like this prove that some places are backward and don't allow equality. Big surprise. I'm not opposing it, obviously. I just think it's a waste of time.

    Posted by: Paul R | Feb 12, 2013 12:01:58 PM


  11. Sorry, "denied a marriage license."

    Posted by: Paul R | Feb 12, 2013 12:03:16 PM


  12. Before the states that have marriage equality now had it, activists did this same exact thing. They applied for marriage licenses in NY, MD, WA and were denied them, documenting the inequality. That's really the point of these videos- no one is really shocked when the county clerk in TN, NC, LA, etc. denies them the paperwork. But you have to start somewhere. (I'm not criticizing you, BTW, just saying the same thing happened in "liberal states" only a short time ago.)

    And yeah, the speech is intended more to reach the viewer than the clerk, but I have to say she was at least respectful, didn't start thumping her bible or whatever, as many probably would. That's the thing about the South. You'd be surprised by many of those who support us, and equally surprised by some who don't.

    Posted by: Caliban | Feb 12, 2013 12:13:35 PM


  13. Paul R is always busy encouraging people to move to gay ghettoes rather than "stay and fight" as Harvey Milk encouraged us to do. The mentality of people like Paul R seems to be born of animus for particular regions of the country, but is ultimately self-defeating for the LGBT rights movement. As polling has shown time and again, knowing a gay or lesbian person makes a straight person more likely to support LGBT-positive policies. We need people courageous enough to stand and fight in places like the south (and Wyoming – a place whose people Paul R recently broadly damned as untrustworthy). Moving to accepting places will not create acceptance elsewhere. It's basically a strategy of retreating when we need to be on the offensive. In addition, criticizing people for not fleeing to gay safe havens ignores the fact that people have all kinds of ties to places that make living there and trying to change the hearts, minds, and laws worthwhile to them.

    Posted by: RyanInWyo | Feb 12, 2013 12:34:38 PM


  14. Sorry but the hearing impaired don't share in your enthusiasm. What is he saying?

    Posted by: LOion | Feb 12, 2013 12:44:31 PM


  15. Sorry but the hearing impaired don't share in your enthusiasm. What is he saying?

    Posted by: LOion | Feb 12, 2013 12:44:33 PM


  16. The County Clerk deserves much praise for her respectfulness.

    Posted by: Phil | Feb 12, 2013 1:12:43 PM


  17. They can both get on a plane and come to Canada and get legally married. They will get a legal marriage certificate and be legally married in this country.

    Posted by: BC | Feb 12, 2013 1:16:27 PM


  18. BC, will that make them citizens of your country as well? If not, what use is that certificate when they get home?

    Posted by: RyanInWyo | Feb 12, 2013 1:20:30 PM


  19. Hi Ryan,
    No they won't be citizens but they can tell all of their friends/family that they are married.

    Posted by: BC | Feb 12, 2013 1:29:45 PM


  20. I BET a billion dollars that gal the clerk at the counter supports equal marriage. She is OLD AND WHITE. She was not hateful and did not bring up religion. She just stated law as it exists.

    Posted by: Sargon Bighorn | Feb 12, 2013 1:32:40 PM


  21. Very emotional. Powerful. Sad and encouraging at the same time.

    Posted by: Francis | Feb 12, 2013 1:46:20 PM


  22. My husband and I live in a state that does not legally recognize our marriage. We were married in California in 2008.

    When I fill out forms or introduce Tim, I identify him as my husband. Our marriage may not be recognized where we live, but we are still legally married. When same gender marriage is finally recognized here, we will not have to be re-married.

    It is really empowering to introduce Tim as "my husband."

    Posted by: voet | Feb 12, 2013 1:50:22 PM


  23. @RyaninWyo: Nice broadside attack on me. My entire family is from Wyoming and I don't have animus toward it or anyplace in the US. I just don't see a point in living somewhere unpleasant.

    Also, nice assumption that I love gay ghettos just because I don't want to live in Rock Springs, where I'd be bored out of my mind. And the weather sucks. Are you in Jackson Hole? Or Laramie? The Tetons? There are rather big differences.

    Posted by: Paul R | Feb 12, 2013 2:48:57 PM


  24. @Jack M,

    *bump*

    Posted by: ratbastard | Feb 12, 2013 2:58:38 PM


  25. Paul R, how about I just respond with your own words:

    Don't trust anyone from Rock Springs. My mother was born there and says she'll never go back. Same with Caspar, Cheyenne, and Laramie. Wyo is an odd place, and that this even was debated is surprising.

    Go to Yellowstone and search for jackalopes.

    Posted by: Paul R | Jan 31, 2013 8:52:55 AM

    http://www.towleroad.com/2013/01/wyoming-house-rejects-domestic-partnership-bill-in-35-24-vote.html#ixzz2Kiso6who

    Posted by: Ryaninwyo | Feb 12, 2013 4:34:01 PM


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