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Marriage Equality

Don't Say Gay in Kentucky Marriage Equality Protest?

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.

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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