LGBT couples to apply for marriage licenses in Decatur - CBS46 News

LGBT couples apply for marriage licenses in Decatur

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The battle over same sex marriage here in Georgia took center stage in Decatur on Monday.

As part of the Campaign for Southern Equality, five gay couples applied for their marriage licenses. They were all denied because under Georgia law same sex marriages aren't allowed.

The debate over same sex marriage continues to be a hot one, but for county workers there is no debate. Elizabeth Lewis is DeKalb County's marriage license administrative coordinator.

"We have to go by what Georgia law says," said Lewis.

But that doesn't mean supporters are OK with it. Beth Schissel is one the people who tried to get a marriage license.

"I refuse to be a second-class citizen. I am not going to be quiet about it," said Schissel.

The five couples made a lot of noise by doing something as simple as applying for a marriage license and being denied.

Schissel's partner Sally White said, "We knew we would be denied, but like a pebble in a pond it starts a ripple effect."

It's a ripple effect couples said was worth the awkwardness of going through the process, and the pain of being denied.

"Even if it harmed us in some small way it was way more worth it to open hearts and minds and start conversations with people," said Schissel.

There were only five couples standing up on this day, but the group said they're just getting started.

Rev. Jasmine Beach-Ferrara is the Executive Director for the Campaign for Southern Equality.

"The We Do campaign will keep growing across the south. We'll keep doing this again and again and again until we reach a thresh hold of full equality under federal law," said Beach-Ferrara.

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