In response to yesterday's post, reader and Soulforce Colorado State Organizer Christopher Hubble sent me a link to his blog post about Colorado couple Kate Burns & Sheila Schroeder.
Kate and Sheila, of Englewood, Colorado, have been a couple for five years. Last month, they requested, and were denied, a marriage license from the Denver Clerk's office. The couple and their supporters staged a sit-in, which was tolerated until the building closed at 5 p.m.
Burns and Schroeder refused to leave, insisting that marriage laws which deny full equality to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people undermine America's tradition of religious pluralism protected by the U.S. Constitution and disregard equal protection guaranteed by the 14th Amendment. The two were issued citations for trespassing and were released without bail at 5:26 p.m.
The couple will go to trial in December for trespassing.
When asked whether she regrets engaging in the sit-in now that the case is going to trial, Schroeder declared, "Not for one second have I wished to change anything that happened that day. Standing up for my rights and for the love of my family is a responsibility I welcome and cherish as an American citizen. Civil disobedience is an honorable tradition."
"Some of the finest world leaders, and scores of good ordinary people, have employed relentless nonviolent resistance to fight for justice and equality in their communities," agreed Burns. "It's ironic that we are being charged with trespassing in a public office that is funded, in part, by the tax dollars of thousands of lesbian and gay residents--people who are regularly denied the same services granted to heterosexual couples."
Ladies, you rock. The clip of the local coverage (watch it at Soulforce) shows you to strong, proud, assertive, civil, and disobedient. You have my admiration and respect--and best wishes for your trial. And kudos to whichever party involved thought to bring the media with you.
Thanks for the tip, Christopher--please keep us posted in December.