Gay Couples Seek Marriage Equality - NBC29 WVIR Charlottesville, VA News, Sports and Weather

Gay Couples Seek Marriage Equality

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For the first time in Charlottesville, gays, lesbians and their supporters took action for a right to marriage in the courts.  It's part of a national movement for the gay community.

Their message was peaceful as the same sex couples led the march up the stairs into circuit court. Holding her partner's hand Tammy Wilt said, "We want to have the rights that everybody else has. And that's the whole purpose of us being here. If everyone is allowed to be married than we should be married as well."

Friends, family, and other supporters followed seamlessly behind.

One of them, Mary Pat Hanson, said, "I soon will be married happily for 30 years. I just feel like anybody should be able to have the same happiness and same rights that I have had as a married woman."

Tammy Wilt and her partner Angela took a Commitment vow in Maryland five years ago. But for them, it's not good enough.

Wilt said, "It would be a lot easier for us for hospital visitations, just legalities that most straight couples take for granted that we have to go pay lots and lots of money for."

According to Virginia state law, marriage between the persons of the same sex is prohibited. Additionally, a same sex marriage entered in another state is considered void in all respects in the Commonwealth.

As expected, these couples were denied a marriage license from clerk Paul Garrett. He said without a Constitutional amendment, his answer, and the law will remain the same.

Reported by Liz Nagy
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