It didn’t take long for some lead-headed bureaucrat to turn the idea of marriage equality into a nightmare. Over the weekend, East Texas couple Karen Wilkerson and Jolie Smith of Smith County trekked to county court to obtain their marriage license, and instead wound up snarled in a mess of red tape. KLTV reports that clerk Karen Phillips firmly rebuffed their request, claiming all the necessary paperwork was gender specific so no can do.
“[Male] is not something I can white out because that’s a legal form,” she told Wilkerson and Smith.
“Is the purpose of Smith County to obstruct the law of the land for administrative purpose?” Wilkerson asked.
After Wilkerson firmly reminded Phillips that counties in Dallas and Austin were issuing licenses left and right, the clerk wouldn’t budge. ”Well, they may be doing that, but I don’t want to have to call up a bunch of people saying we have to redo this,” she responded passive-aggressively. “This is not a circus; we don’t like to be a circus.”
Wilkerson and Smith claim they waited in the courthouse for over an hour and later returned to the clerk’s office, all to no avail. “To see another couple be able to get their license,” Smith said tearfully. “And now the Supreme Court says we can… but [the heterosexual couple] can walk out of here with one, and we can’t.”
The couple plans to file a lawsuit in federal court against the Smith County Clerk’s Office, and they shouldn’t have any problem gathering the necessary paperwork.