Gay Couples Apply For Marriage License And Get Denied

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(Memphis) They knew the answer would be “no” but they did it anyway.

Two couples marched down to the Shelby County Clerk's Office Wednesday to apply for a marriage license, but they were turned away.

The couples knew same-sex marriage is against the law in Tennessee, but they did it to prove a point.

“I am desperately in love with her and I want to spend my life with her,” Amy Barton said about her fiancée, Lindsay Gray.

Lindsay and Amy are engaged to be married, but they won't be making it official in Tennessee. They got turned away applying for a marriage license, and so did Chris and Aaron.

“They said they don't do them yet,” said Aaron Thompson, alongside his partner Chris Snow.

The two couples knew the answer would be “no."

Despite a Supreme Court ruling requiring the federal government to recognize gay marriage, it's still up to each state to decide if it wants to do so as well.

The deputy clerk at the Shelby County Marriage License Office says she gets gay couples coming in from time to time, but she tells them all the same thing, referencing the law that Tennessee does not allow two people of the same sex to get married.

“It’s an uphill battle, but I’m willing to climb the hill,” said Snow.

The couples know that in 2006, Tennessee voters amended the state constitution to prohibit same-sex marriage, so while these couples might now be allowed federal benefits if married outside of Tennessee, they still won't be recognized by the state they live in.

“If we go to the hospital, he really has no right to come in, if something were to happen to me,” said Thompson.

They're hoping demonstrations like the one Tuesday will show others that there are real people who share real love behind all the debate.

“It’s a demonstration that we are equal like everybody else,” Said Snow.