Gay couple heads to Kentucky to wed and make a statement

Mark Shrayber, 34, left, and his partner, Allen Corona, 32, speak with the media after they were issued a marriage license by a deputy clerk at the Rowan County Clerk’s office Wednesday September 9, 2015 in Morehead, Ky. Deputy clerk Brian Mason says the office will issues licenses Wednesday in Davis' absence if anyone seeks them. Lawyers for Rowan County clerk Kim Davis say she will return to work Friday or Monday.

Mark Shrayber, 34, left, and his partner, Allen Corona, 32, speak with the media after they were issued a marriage license by a deputy clerk at the Rowan County Clerk’s office Wednesday September 9, 2015 in Morehead, Ky. Deputy clerk Brian Mason says the office will issues licenses Wednesday in Davis' absence if anyone seeks them. Lawyers for Rowan County clerk Kim Davis say she will return to work Friday or Monday. AP Photo by John Flavell

Mark Shrayber, 34, left, and his partner, Allen Corona, 32, speak with the media after they were issued a marriage license by a deputy clerk at the Rowan County Clerk's office Wednesday September 9, 2015 in Morehead, Ky. Deputy clerk Brian Mason says the office will issues licenses Wednesday in Davis' absence if anyone seeks them. Lawyers for Rowan County clerk Kim Davis say she will return to work Friday or Monday. AP Photo by John Flavell

Mark Shrayber, 34, left, and his partner, Allen Corona, 32, speak with the media after they were issued a marriage license by a deputy clerk at the Rowan County Clerk’s office Wednesday September 9, 2015 in Morehead, Ky. Deputy clerk Brian Mason says the office will issues licenses Wednesday in Davis’ absence if anyone seeks them. Lawyers for Rowan County clerk Kim Davis say she will return to work Friday or Monday.

A San Francisco couple say they traveled to the Kentucky county of an embattled clerk of court to get married and make a statement for gay rights.

Mark Shrayber and Allen Corona are the first couple to complete their paperwork to be married in Rowan County, Kentucky, since the clerk’s office began processing licenses again.

Since the U.S. Supreme Court effectively legalized gay marriage nationwide, clerk Kim Davis has refused to give licenses to gay couples, citing religious beliefs about homosexuality. She was held in jail for five days on contempt charges and released Tuesday. In her absence, deputy clerks issued licenses.

The couple received their license Tuesday. They were married later that day in a small ceremony at Morehead State University and returned to the office Wednesday to file the license with county officials, per legal protocol in Kentucky.

The couple praised the response of residents, some of whom ran up to hug them. Shrayber says it seemed many were embarrassed by the situation.

Shrayber says he’s disgusted Davis is becoming “a martyr for the cause.” He says: “We are in 2015. We are not burning witches anymore.”

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