Don't Say Gay in Kentucky Marriage Equality Protest?

Prosecutors want to quash any mention of marriage equality in the trespassing trial of a gay couple in Kentucky who refused to leave a county clerk's office after they were denied a marriage license in January.

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Dominique James, left, with his partner, Rev. Maurice
Dominique James, left, with his partner, Rev. Maurice "Bojangles" Blanchard.

While the rest of the country can't stop talking about same-sex marriage, it may not even be mentioned in the trial of two men arrested in Loiusiville, Ky., after they applied for a marriage license, were denied, then refused to leave the county clerk's office.

The Reverend Maurice "Bojangles" Blanchard, 34, and his partner, Dominique James, 29, applied for a marriage license at the Jefferson County clerk's office January 22, and were denied, with officials citing Kentucky's ban on same-sex marriage. But the couple refused to leave the office at closing time, resulting in their arrest for trespassing, according to Louisville's Courier-Journal.

Now county prosecutors are attempting to silence any mention of the reason for the couple's action when they face trial for the trespassing charge, reports the Courier-Journal. 

Ted Shouse, the attorney representing the gay Baptist minister, told the Courier-Journal that prosecutors are not only seeking to prohibit the defense from mentioning the nature of the couple's protest, but are also trying to increase the charge to second-degree trespassing, a misdemeanor punishable by as many as 90 days in jail, a $250 fine, or both. 

"We believe that it would fundamentally unfair to try a case ... and not tell the jury why they were there," Shouse told the Courier-Journal

A spokesman for the county attorney's office confirmed that the office is considering amending the charge to "more accurately meet the element of the offense," according to the Courier-Journal. The spokesman said that no motion has yet been filed.

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