When Samantha Brookover and her partner, Amanda Abramovich, went to the Gilmer County Courthouse in West Virginia to get a marriage license, the last thing they expected was to be called an “abomination.” While the couple were given the license, the deputy clerk who processed it won’t face any discipline because the county clerk says she shares the deputy’s bigoted views of gays and lesbians.
“They were issued the license, and that was the main thing,” Gilmer County Clerk Jean Butcher told the Charleston Gazette-Mail.
Debbie Allen, the deputy clerk who berated the couple, doesn’t deny the couples’ allegation that she told them their relationship is sinful, but says she wasn’t loud about it.
“We did not attack them,” Allen said. “We did not yell at them. We were not aggressive with them. I felt I talked nicely to them.”
Another clerk in the office witnessed the altercation but did nothing to stop it. “I was working on what I was supposed to be doing and, honestly, I didn’t care to make eye contact with them,” Angela Moore told the Gazette-Mail.
“I just told them my opinion,” Allen said. “I just felt led to do that. I believe God was standing with me and that’s just my religious belief.”
Asked if someone who has just been belittled because of their sexual orientation would consider it an attack on their relationship, Allen quipped, “Oh, I’m sure.”
“To have a complete stranger — someone that doesn’t know me — scream like that, it really cut down to the bone,” Abramovich told the Gazette-Mail.
“It just takes one person to remind you how closed-minded our world is,” Brookover added.
West Virginia legislators are expected to vote today on a “religious freedom” bill that would allow discrimination against LGBT people if a person cites their religious beliefs. The bill would also overturn local human rights ordinances that protect LGBT people.