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Common Dreams

Gay Couple Arrested After Being Refused Marriage License in Texas

'This is about not being treated equal' couple says

Common Dreams staff

Two men, Mark “Major” Jiminez and Beau Chandler, a gay couple in Dallas, Texas walked into the city's County Clerk's office on Thursday determined to do one of two things: get married or get arrested trying.

They were arrested.

According to the Dallas Voice, Jiminez and Chandler entered the County Records Building at about 3 p.m. with friends, TV crews and Dallas police following close behind.

“City police, county sheriffs and building security are all here,” Chandler reportedly said. “Nice to get their support.”

The couple say they were protesting Texas' ban on gay marriage, passed in 2005, and after being denied by the clerk the marriage license they requested the two handcuffed themselves together at the wrist, sat down on the floor, and waited for police.

As the TV cameras rolled, Jiminez explained some of the more than 1,000 rights straight couples enjoy that are denied to gay and lesbian couples. “This is about not being treated equal,” he said.

Chandler, according to the Voice, said they had thought of going to another state to marry but decided there was no point if the marriage would just be void as soon as they got home.

“We spoke to our friend Daniel [Cates] with GetEQUAL, and he suggested we make a statement,” Chandler said. “And we decided it needed to be the day after Independence Day.”

The couple was not arrested until everyone else had left the office. When they came down the elevator, they were no longer handcuffed to each other but were handcuffed individually, each escorted by two sheriff’s deputies.

As the sheriff's car pulled away, marriage equality activist Cd Kirven turned to say, “This is the first time this has happened in Dallas. It’s historic.”

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