When Amanda Abramovich and Samantha Brookover went to their West Virginia county clerk’s office to obtain a marriage license last year, they had to listen to their county clerk condemn them as an “abomination,” along with warnings that God would soon “deal” with them.
Now over a year later, the Gilmer County clerk’s office is paying the couple $10,000 in damages along with an apology, the Associated Press reports.
According to the couple’s complaint, Deputy Clerk Debbie Allen slammed the paperwork on the counter and declared she was a Christian before calling the couple an “abomination.” She then launched into a rant that lasted several minutes. Another clerk reportedly joined in and reinforced Allen’s “religious right” to chastise the couple.
Seven months before the incident, the Supreme Court ruled that gay marriage was legal everywhere in the United States.
From the AP:
The couple also alleged that when Brookover’s mother complained to Butcher about the treatment by her deputy clerk, Butcher said they deserved it and the next same-sex couple that sought a license would get the same or worse from her office.
Speaking to the Charleston Gazette-Mail, Allen denied that she called the couple an “abomination,” adding that she felt she “talked nicely” to them. However, she did admit that she expressed her feelings that gay marriage is wrong.
“I just told them my opinion,” she said. “I just felt led to do that. I believe God was standing with me and that’s just my religious belief.”
But in a press release this Wednesday, Gilmer County acknowledged that the couple was “disrespected and disparaged by staff” because they’re gay.
“That was wrong,” the press release stated. “It is the policy of Gilmer County and the Gilmer County Clerk’s Office that all people seeking services and doing business with the County will be treated courteously and with respect regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity.”
Featured image via Gilmer County, WV