On July 5th, a loving couple walk into a Dallas County clerk’s office to apply for a marriage license. They were engaged the previous spring when a ring was placed inside a pancake. Unlike many couples, however, this one knew they wouldn’t get a license. You see this couple, Mark “Major” Jiminez and Beau Chandler are gay in a state, Texas, that banned gay marriage in 2005.
“We’re All Supposed To Be Created Equal” – Jiminez
The couple had considered travelling to another state to wed, but decided that there was little reason given that their marriage would be considered void at home. Encouraged by friend Daniel Cates with GetEQUAL to make a statement, Jiminez is quoted by WFAA-TV as saying “we live in a land where we’re all supposed to be created equal, and by them denying us our marriage, we are not created equal.”
After being denied a license by the Dallas County Clerk, the determined-to-get married couple staged a 60′s type “sit-in,” handcuffed their arms together and sat down on the office floor in front of the applicant line. The protest drew many gawkers, some of whom were tipped off by a Facebook page created before the couple entered the Dallas County Records Building. Laura Martin, LGBT Liaison officer for the Dallas Police Department, called Jiminez and Chandler “the nicest couple.”
What They Are Charged With
Jiminez and Chandler were charged with Criminal Trespass, a Class B Misdemeanor (usually political arrests are treated as Class C Misdemeanors). A Bond was set at $500. They are due to appear in court at the Frank Crowley Courthouse August 2nd where they could face a $2000 fine and 180-day jail sentence for Civil Disobedience.
“Demanding Equal Rights Is Not Really A Crime”
With this message on their mug shots, the couple is expected to draw throngs who will protest their sentencing on August 2nd.