Mary Jamis, a 52-year-old lesbian, was handcuffed by female officers following a protest at a government office. Jamis blocked the entrance to the marriage license office in Winston-Salem, N.C., and refused to leave more than 30 minutes after the office had closed.
Jamis and her heterosexual friend told officers they would not leave until Jamis was issued a marriage license for her and her partner, Starr Johnson. Jamis and her friend were arrested.
North Carolina recently became the 30th State to pass a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage.
The State was visited by several same-sex couples after its decision to define marriage as solely between a man and a woman. At least nine same-sex couples showed up at the office in Winston-Salem and applied for a marriage license.
After being denied a marriage certificate, Brent Morin, one of the protesters, said: “I just want to point out that we’re married in the District of Columbia, our nation’s capital.”
“Why not? I don’t think it’s really anybody’s business,” said Alicia Picou, a heterosexual who obtained a marriage license at the office during the fiasco. “I don’t think it’s the government’s business to be telling people what to do with their private lives.”
Campaign for Southern Equality, a gay rights group, is planning several more protests at county offices in North Carolina.