Why We’re Fighting Religion-Based Discrimination in West Virginia
Sixteen months later – well after the U.S. Supreme Court upheld marriage equality – we went to the courthouse again for a marriage license. This time, we brought family members with us who were excited to take part in our special day.
When we arrived, the same clerk was on duty. When we asked her for a marriage license, she began shouting at us that we are “an abomination.” She yelled that our desire to marry was wrong and that she believed that God would “deal” with us in time. We asked her to stop, and she told us that she has a religious right to talk this way to us.
In the end, she processed our marriage application – but not before we were left shaking and in tears.
When we complained to the county clerk about this abusive behavior, she defended it and said that any future same-sex couples seeking to marry would receive the same treatment – or worse.
No government employee has the right to belittle anyone who seeks a marriage license, or, for that matter, any other governmental service. We will have to return to the courthouse for other public services in the future and are afraid that the clerk will once again subject us to harassment and religious condemnation. We shouldn’t have to live like that in our home town.