Gay minister, partner arrested after protest at Metro Hall

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by Maggie Ruper

WHAS11.com

Posted on January 23, 2013 at 12:48 AM

Updated Wednesday, Jan 23 at 9:07 AM

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) -- Rev. Bojangles Blanchard and his partner Dominique James were arrested Tuesday evening after being denied a marriage license.

The two started by peacefully demonstrating outside of Metro Hall with a small group of people in the afternoon. Blanchard, who is a minister at Highland Baptist Church, then walked into the County Clerk’s office with James and asked to apply for a marriage license. Same sex marriage is not legal in Kentucky, so the couple was denied their request.

“It is humiliating to be told such a thing and it is degrading,” Blanchard said.

The men began a sit-in in the office. It continued after the office closed at 5 p.m. until just before 6 p.m. when police were called.

“The officer was very kind. He stated that after 5 p.m. it’s considering trespassing and we would not voluntarily leave, so he would have to arrest us,” Blanchard said.

“I just explained to them that the building was closed and the office was closed and that they needed to leave. They said that they had a spiritual obligation to stay,” Lt. Robert Shadel said.

The men were arrested for criminal trespassing. Shadel said they will likely face a fine.
 

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