Mary Jamis, 52, a lesbian who attempted to obtain a marriage license in North Carolina on Thursday, was arrested along with a heterosexual friend for refusing to leave a government office. Several other gay couples showed up that day in an attempt to get marriage licenses too. It was all part of a protest following the passage of the state's Amendment One, a ban that not only bars gay marriages but any type of civil union.
"A county administrator tried to talk the women into leaving and avoiding arrest, but the two insisted they would stay unless Jamis was issued a marriage license for her and her partner, Starr Johnson, 48," reports Associated Press. After she refused to budge, a "half dozen female officers" surrounded Jamis and arrested her. (Aside: Smart move by the NC cops; they know the optics of male cops arresting a lesbian who just want to marry would look pretty bad.) She and her pal were charged with second-degree trespass, and released without bond.
In addition to harming health benefits for unwed couples and affecting domestic violence laws in the state, North Carolina's gay marriage ban did have one positive repercussion: President Barack Obama publicly declaring his support for same-sex marriage, a first for a sitting U.S. president.
Meanwhile, North Carolina Governor Beverly Perdue isn't thrilled with the voter-approved Amendment One. After a reporter from WITN-TV in Washington, Perdue told her that folks around the country are watching the state and are confused, because North Carolina had been comparatively a progressive, the governor worries that people will look down on the state. "People around the country are watching us, and they're really confused to have been such a progressive forward thinking economically driven state that invested in education and that stood up for the civil rights people including the civil rights marches back in the 50s and 60s and 70s," explained Perdue, adding the following final touch, "People are saying what in the world is going on with North Carolina, we look like Mississippi."