Georgia same-sex couples apply for marriage licenses as part of ‘May Day’ protest

A small “May Day” protest of Georgia’s ban on same-sex marriage took place May 1 as part of a call to action by Sonny and Jazzie Jones-Smith of

The Jones-Smith couple went to the Henry County Courthouse where they were denied, as expected, and posted a photo of their official denial to Instagram.

Four same-sex couples in Savannah also went to the Chatham County Courthouse to ask for their marriage licenses and all were denied as well.

One couple, Pastor Candace Hardnett and Evangelist Erika Majors of Agape Empowerment Ministries, said while they knew they would be denied they were still disappointed.

“We knew we would get denied,” Hardnett told the Savannah Morning News. “But it was still discouraging to be treated in that manner. We watched a heterosexual couple approach the clerk before us, and she handed them their application on a clipboard with pens, but when we approached she just handed us the application with no pens or clipboard.”

Majors added, “One couple with us had already gotten legally married in Maryland, and they were told they couldn’t fill out a marriage license, but I know they let them do that in other counties in Georgia, like Fulton.”

Kim Birge, chief clerk/administrator for Chatham’s Probate Court, confirmed the Maryland couple was not allowed to apply for another marriage license.

“If you are married, you are married,” Birge told the Savannah Morning News. “You can’t get married once you are already married … whether it’s a same-sex marriage or not.”

Hardnett, who is from Washington, D.C., where same-sex marriage is legal, said although she knew she and her partner would not be allowed to apply for a marriage license, the feeling of being rejected was still surprising.“It doesn’t ever feel good to be denied,” she said.

“It’s a right that should belong to us. It’s frustrating to know we could go to D.C., where I am from, and if we did this there, we would already be on our way with a marriage license.”

Below are Tweets and Instagram photos from the May Day protest.