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Lesbian Activists
Arrested in Denver

Lesbian Activists
Arrested in Denver

A lesbian couple were arrested Monday at a Denver government building after refusing to leave when denied a marriage license.

An Englewood, Colo., lesbian couple were arrested Monday at a Denver government building after refusing to leave when denied a marriage license. Kate Burns, 44, and Sheila Schroeder, 43, were accompanied by at least 20 fellow activists, according to a press release from Soulforce, whose Focus on the Facts campaign seeks to end religion-based discrimination and oppression for LGBT Colorado residents.

"As a lifelong Unitarian Universalist, I seek to practice my religion by marrying my life partner in the church where I grew up," Burns said in the statement released Tuesday.

Aside from their shared devotion, the two want to get married because of Schroeder's past health concerns -- the couple were discriminated against when Burns was unable to attend to her partner during a stay in the hospital.

Voters in 2006 amended the Colorado constitution to permit marriage between only a man and a woman. A proposal to allow domestic partnerships for same-sex couples was rejected in the same election.

The couple were accompanied by their minister, the Reverend Mike Morran of Denver's First Unitarian Church.

"I am proud to stand on the side of love in support of Kate and Sheila," Morran said in the statement. "From a church point of view, marriage is a sacrament and the state should stay out of it. This civil right -- the freedom to marry -- should apply to all citizens."

Schroeder and Burns were released within approximately 30 minutes of being arrested. They were issued citations for trespassing. (The Advocate)

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