A gay couple was arrested Thursday in Dallas for refusing to leave the county clerk's office after being denied a marriage license under Texas law.
Mark Jiminez and Beau Chandler entered the county records building in the afternoon and filled out paperwork. Chandler crossed out the word "bride" and wrote "not applicable," according to the Dallas Voice. Friends, media members, and some supportive officials including police officers accompanied them.
The men, who are engaged, handcuffed themselves together and sat on the floor after being denied the license. The building was shut down and they were arrested.
"It was unclear at press time what charge would be filed against the couple," the Voice reported. "Last week, a sheriff's spokesman indicated the pair likely would be charged with criminal trespass, a class-B misdemeanor. The penalty for that is up to 180 days in jail and a maximum $2,000 fine."
A constitutional amendment approved by Texas voters in 2005 bans same-sex marriages, but marriage equality advocates argue that language in Subsection B of the measure effectively invalidates all marriages. The section says, "This state or a political subdivision of this state may not create or recognize any legal status identical or similar to marriage."