When Amanda and Samantha applied for a marriage license at the
county courthouse, they were told that they were an "abomination".
Now, thanks to their courage, same-sex couples won't face similar harassment that ruins their wedding days.
In 2016, high-school sweethearts Amanda and Samantha went to the courthouse in Gilmer County, West Virginia to get married. The clerk, however, mistreated and harassed the couple. She began shouting that they were an abomination, that what they were doing was wrong, and that God would “deal” with them. And she claimed that she has a religious right to engage in this abusive behavior.
When Amanda and Samantha complained to the clerk’s supervisor, she defended the clerk’s behavior and said that any other same-sex couples seeking to marry would receive the same hostile treatment—or worse.
No couple should have to endure harassment and abuse at the hands of a government employee. Religious freedom does not give government officials a right to treat people unequally or unfairly.
Now, thanks to Amanda and Samantha’s courage to stand up to discrimination, Gilmer County agreed to apologize for the wrongdoing of the County Clerk’s office and promised to take steps to ensure that county officials and employees do not discriminate against anyone in the future, regardless of religious beliefs about sexual orientation or gender identity.
The US Constitution guarantees equal treatment under the law and bars the type of discrimination leveled against Amanda and Samantha. Americans United will continue fighting to ensure that it does not happen again.
Learn More About The Case:
Amanda And Samantha's Complaint Filed In The U.S. District Court For The Northern District Of West Virginia
Amanda And Samantha's Story
Watch AU Legal Fellows Alison Tanner And Kelly Percival Explain Our Clients' Settlement
Watch AU Legal Fellow Kelly Percival Explain Amanda And Samantha's Case:
Pictured Above: Amanda And Samantha, Plaintiffs In The Case. Download Image Here.
Attorneys: West Virginia Clerk Apologizes To Lesbian Couple - The Washington Post
Gilmer County, Same-Sex Couple Reach Settlement - Charleston Gazette-Mail
Same-Sex Couple Sues Gilmer Clerk’s Office - Charleston Gazette-Mail
Same-Sex Couple Gets License, Condemnation In Gilmer County - Charleston Gazette-Mail