Four women and six men were arrested yesterday in Chicago after they held a five-hour demonstration at the Cook County marriage licence office. The protest was sparked when two of the women were refused a marriage licence.
Andrea Crain of gay rights group Join the Impact Chicago, said that Judy Heithmar and Danelle Wylder, along with four supporters, had approached the counter at the Vital Records office and asked for a marriage licence. Crain was at the demonstration with five other protestors who were not arrested.
When Heithmar and Wylder, who have been together for a year, were refused a marriage licence, the protestors began to read from a list of 1,138 marriage rights that are denied to same-sex couples in the State of Illinois.
Crain said that the protestors, “blocked lines, blocked the counter, [and] chanted”. Two of the protestors later went behind the counter.
The police asked the six protesters, all in their twenties, to leave several times. When they refused, they were arrested. Police News Affairs Officer, Daniel O’Brien said that the women were “disrupting the ability of the state workers to provide service to patrons”.
According to O’Brien, all six women were charged with one count of misdemeanour criminal trespass to state-supported land.