Dallas gay couple, denied marriage license, arrested after staging sit-in

Dallas gay couple, denied marriage license, arrested after staging sit-in

DALLAS — A gay couple was arrested on Thursday when they launched a planned protest of Texas’ ban on same-sex marriage after being denied a marriage license.

Mark Jiminez and Beau Chandler handcuffed handcuffed themselves together and refused to leave the Dallas County Clerk Records Building after being refused the license, reported WFAA-TV.

When the building closed for the day, they were arrested and taken to jail in separate cars.

Beau Chandler (left) and Mark-Jiminez

The couple, who announced their protest in advance on Facebook, said they knew their marriage application would be refused:

We are tired of being treated like second-class citizens and we are demanding change! We want to get married here in Texas on September 13, 2012. However, here in the otherwise great State of Texas, marriage for us is not legal.

We are going to take a stand against this blatant discrimination on the morning of July 5, 2012. We are going to go to the County Clerk’s office and apply to have our last names changed and after that we will proceed to apply for a marriage license.

We will be denied.

We are then going to inform them that we are not going to leave until they allow us a marriage license.

The Dallas Voice reported that Jiminez and Chandler entered the records around 3 p.m., accompanied by friends, TV crews and “friendly police” in tow.

“City police, county sheriffs and building security are all here,” Chandler said. “Nice to get their support.”

Sr. Cpl. Laura Martin, LGBT liaison officer for the Dallas Police Department, said, “They’re the nicest couple. They’re the first guys after any protest to come up and thank the officers.”

The couple was released from custody after about four hours, and were charged with criminal trespass, a misdemeanor.

Despite not being legally married, Chandler signed paperwork Thursday to change his legal surname to Jiminez.

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