When high-school sweethearts Amanda Abramovich and Samantha Brookover applied for a marriage license on Feb. 3, 2016, in Glenville, W.Va., they expected it to be one of the happiest days of their lives. Instead, they were on the receiving end of verbal abuse from a Gilmer County clerk who told the couple that God would “deal” with them and that they were an “abomination.”
Americans United for Separation of Church and State, Fairness West Virginia and the law firm Mayer Brown LLP today announced the settlement of a federal lawsuit filed on behalf of a West Virginia same-sex couple who was harassed by a Gilmer County clerk who cited religious objections to marriage equality.
When high-school sweethearts Amanda Abramovich and Samantha Brookover asked for a marriage license on Feb. 3, 2016, they were subjected to a rant by Gilmer County Deputy Clerk Debbie Allen, who called the women an “abomination” to God and said their marriage shouldn’t be legal.
Amanda Abramovich and Samantha Brookover should have only happy memories of Feb. 3, 2016. After all, it is the day the high-school sweethearts applied for their marriage license.
But due to the abusive actions of a few county clerks, it is a day that Abramovich and Brookover remember with dread.
“This year when we realized our anniversary was approaching, we got knots in our stomachs,” the couple said in a statement released by Americans United. “This is the feeling we will have every year rather than the happiness of finally being legally married.”
Tomorrow at 1 p.m., Americans United Executive Director Barry W. Lynn will participate in an “Ask Me Anything” session on the social news site Reddit. This is your chance to pick Barry’s brain about the state of religious freedom and church-state separation in America. Barry will be retiring at the end of the year after 25 years with Americans United – so this is a great opportunity to ask him about the battles he’s fought and those he sees on AU’s horizon.
Editor’s note: This post was written by Samantha Brookover and Amanda Abramovich of West Virginia, the two plaintiffs in a federal lawsuit Americans United and our allies filed today in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of West Virginia. On their wedding day in February 2016, the high-school sweethearts were harassed and disparaged by a Gilmer County clerk who cited her religion-based opposition to marriage for same-sex couples.
Americans United for Separation of Church and State, Fairness West Virginia and the law firm of Mayer Brown today filed a federal lawsuit on behalf of a West Virginia same-sex couple that was harassed and disparaged by a county clerk who cited religious objections to issuing the women a marriage license.
High-school sweethearts Amanda Abramovich and Samantha Brookover visited the Gilmer County Clerk’s Office on Feb. 3, 2016, to obtain a marriage license. Abramovich and Brookover were accompanied by family members to celebrate the happy occasion.