Couple sues to overturn GA's same-sex marriage ban to protect their children


A couple from Atlanta is listed as plaintiffs in a federal lawsuit challenging Georgia's constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage.

Michael Bishop, 50, and Shane Thomas, 44, have been in a relationship for eight years and have two children, Thomas, 4, and Mariella, 3.

Bishop, an attorney and Thomas, a realtor, told CBS46 News reporter Jeff Chirico that they want to marry to protect their children.

"We don't want our kids to have a sense of being less than," said Bishop.

"Our reason for wanting to be involved in this case purely comes down to family," said Thomas.

The couple described their family as "extraordinarily ordinary." Bishop and Thomas explained that they make breakfast for their children every morning, change diapers and put them to bed.

"We're like any other family," said Thomas, but without the protection they said a legally-recognized marriage could afford them.

Following state law, Fulton County court recently denied the couple a marriage license.

"We are proud Georgians," said Bishop. "The ideas of family and tradition and a loving home are key to our sense of family."

The couple said they are optimistic that their lawsuit will be successful. They have watched similar bans struck down in other states and believe Georgia's will fall too.

Bishop said he recognizes the courage needed not only by the seven plaintiffs in the federal lawsuit but by voters who approved the ban 10 years ago.

"Change takes people. Change doesn't just happen. It takes people of courage stepping up as plaintiffs in an action like this and people on the street who are willing to change their opinions and view things differently," said Bishop.

Copyright 2014 WGCL-TV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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