Lesbian Couple Felt ‘Like Second-Class Citizens’ After New York Clerk Refused To Issue Marriage License

Katie Carmichael and Deirdre DiBiaggio appeared on MSNBC this afternoon to discuss their case against Rose Marie Belforti, an elected town clerk in rural Ledyard, New York who has raised religious objections to issuing marriage certificates to same-sex couples. Belforti refused to wed the lesbian couple and arranged an appointment with a deputy. Under New York state law, “the marriage license is issued immediately, [but] the marriage ceremony may not take place within 24 hours from the exact time that the license was issued.”

“It was very sad and sort of shocking, “ Carmichael said of the experience, “we left and felt like we were second-class citizens.” “We just want to be able to go into that clerk’s office on any day that it’s open and just get a license, just like any other couple,” she added. Watch it:


New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) has suggested that he supports the couple, saying that clerks should not be allowed to pick and choose which laws they enforce. “If you can’t enforce the law, then you shouldn’t be in that position,” Cumoo said.