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David Moore, 39, and David Ermold, 41, were finally able to marry this fall after three failed attempts; Davis refused to give the men a license, claiming she was working under "God's authority."
Moore and Ermold described their painful, impoverished upbringings to GQ. Moore was raised by a schizophrenic mother in Kentucky, where the family used an outhouse. Ermold grew up with an abusive father in the Philadelphia suburbs. Both men described being bullied as children for being gay.
The two men met online and Ermold moved to Kentucky to live with Moore so they could care for Moore's mother. They describe themselves as introverted people who felt overwhelmed and uncomfortable when the controversy with Davis became national news. But the couple felt compelled to keep up their fight to marry, noting that many people in their rural Kentucky county feel the same as Davis -- that Moore, Ermold, and all LGBT people are sinners.
When Davis was tossed in jail for defying a court order to offer marriage licenses to same-sex couples, Moore began crying, he told the magazine. "This is not what we wanted," he recalled saying. He added, "We're also complicit in her fame."
Moore and Ermold say things are even worse in Kentucky for transgender people and gay folks of color, and that all LGBT people in the area suffer.
"I didn't realize up until this point how much of my life was dealing with humiliation on a regular and persistent basis," Ermold said. "You get so used to it, you don't even realize it's happening anymore."