A lesbian was arrested for seeking a marriage licence in North Carolina on Thursday (10 May).
She was arrested after refusing to leave a government building in protest over the passage of Amendment One in the US state.
Mary Jamis of Mocksville, and her heterosexual friend Mary Lea Bradford of Winston-Salem, were arrested after joining nine couples looking for a marriage licence.
The couples presented completed forms and identification to a clerk at the local Register of Deeds office.
‘We cannot issue you a marriage license because it is not allowed under North Carolina law,’ a clerk told two gay men.
After refusing to budge, six female officers surrounded Jamis and arrested her. Both Jamis and Bradford were charged with second-degree trespass, and released without bond.
North Carolina became the 30th state to ban same-sex legal unions in the United States, a day before President Barack Obama’s historic support of gay marriage.
The amendment means only marriages between a man and a woman will have legal recognition. Civil unions are now outlawed, and it is possible cohabiting partnerships for both gay and straight couples are in danger.
North Carolina governor Beverley Perdue said ‘writing discrimination into North Carolina’s constitution is just plain wrong.’ She added she was worried what the law would do for the reputation of the state.
‘This will harm the stability and security of North Carolina’s families like never before,’ the governor warned.
She said: ‘Our constitution was written to guarantee rights, not to take them away.’