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TN gay couple denied marriage certificate

8:54 PM, Jan 9, 2013   |    comments
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A White Pine same-sex couple knew they were going to be denied a marriage certificate when they arrived at the Hamblen County Courthouse Wednesday. Still, they went to get one.

"We knew, going into the process, that it was going to be denied. But it meant a lot to us to illustrate and show in the books the discrimination," said Ramie Wolfe who was standing next to his partner Matthew Griffin.

This demonstration was part of the Southern Equality Center's "We Do" campaign. The LGBT organization will make a total of seven stops in Southern cities, where gay couples will go to various courthouses, and get their marriage requests denied.

"That's the kind of reality we face in the South, and we feel it's that important to stand up and make ourselves known," Wolfe added.

In the Hamblen County seat of Morristown, pastor Dr. Dean Haun with First Baptist Church heard about the event this weekend, and disagreed with the demonstration.

"Our position is never that of hate, but our position is firmly rooted in the truth of God's word," Pastor Haun said said. "In Matthew 19, he quotes about marriage and quotes out of Genesis and a man will leave his mother and father and cleave to a wife."

Attorney Eric Harrison said it will ultimately be up to the Supreme Court on the future of same-sex marriage in this country, beyond the borders of the Volunteer State. He said two states' laws are currently being challenged.

"The Supreme Court is ultimately going to pass judgement and naturally the supremacy of the federal clause but how narrow they make that decision," Harrison said.

While Wolfe and Griffin do not know the future of their seven-year relationship; they're hoping it's not if they'll get married -- it's when.

"We will win this, eventually," Griffin said.

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