Gay couples raise one voice for same-sex marriage rights in Dallas

13 Feb 2009


Kim Davis and Rose Preizler, who previously married in Canada, exchanged vows and cupcakes Thursday. Then they tried to get a marriage license, only to be denied. Then, surrounded by a small group of supporters singing "Chapel of Love," the Dallas couple marched inside to get a marriage license.

"Unfortunately, in the state of Texas, they don't allow same-sex marriages," an office assistant soon told them.

Hundreds of other gay and lesbian couples got similar responses across the country Thursday as part of National Freedom to Marry Day, part of a weeklong effort to promote same-sex marriages.

Marriages of same-sex couples are legal in Massachusetts and Connecticut. Civil unions providing rights and responsibilities to same-sex couples are allowed in Connecticut, New Hampshire, New Jersey and Vermont. And domestic partnership laws provide spousal rights to unmarried couples in California, Hawaii, Maine, Maryland, Oregon, Washington and the District of Columbia.

Texas does not recognize same-sex marriages, civil unions or domestic partnerships.

Dallas County Clerk John F. Warren told the group that he could not change the law.

"We have to abide by the law," Warren said, "regardless of our personal feelings."

Queer LiberAction and Join the Impact Dallas organized Thursday's event. About 20 people held signs, blew bubbles and clapped as the Rev. Daniel Kanter, a senior minister at First Unitarian Church of Dallas, performed the ceremony.

"I say we stand on the side of love and not on the side of hate," Kanter said.

Many employees and passers-by stopped to take photos.

Pat Garner, who was eating lunch nearby, said the group should have kept the rally outside the Records Building.

"To me, it's just unprofessional, a little disturbing," Garner said.

Davis, 33, and her partner were previously married in Canada but still want recognition of some 1,300 rights, including inheritance and adoption, that they say are denied to them as a gay couple in Texas.

"This isn't what I envisioned when I was 8," Davis said. "We wanted to make a statement."

Article taken from The Dallas Morning News