Gay couple gets trespassing ticket instead of marriage license

By David Edwards
Tuesday, April 29, 2008 7:56 EDT
google plus icon
  • Print Friendly and PDF
  • Email this page

When Dan Pinello and Lee Nissensohn went into the Oyster Bay, Long Island clerk’s office on Monday to apply for a marriage license, the gay couple knew they had no chance of receiving one, since New York State law does not recognize same-sex marriage. They wound up receiving a citation for trespassing instead.

The mens’ original intention was to practice civil disobedience and stage a sit-in until they were removed by police. “We are law-abiding citizens,” said Pinello, who is a professor of government. “We pay our taxes. We have no other choice left.” However, they eventually agreed with town officials to leave once they were ticketed.

The two men, who are both in their 50′s, have been living together for 13 years and say they just want the same rights and benefits as their neighbors. They began a letter-writing campaign two years ago and have hundreds of supporters in the area, dozens of whom dozens protested outside the office until Pinello and Nissensohn emerged.

“We’re not trying to make statements here,” the town clerk later explained. “We’re trying to do our jobs.”

This video is from The Associated Press, broadcast April 29, 2008.

Download video

David Edwards
David Edwards
David Edwards has served as an editor at Raw Story since 2006. His work can also be found at Crooks & Liars, and he's also been published at The BRAD BLOG. He came to Raw Story after working as a network manager for the state of North Carolina and as as engineer developing enterprise resource planning software. Follow him on Twitter at @DavidEdwards.
By commenting, you agree to our terms of service
and to abide by our commenting policy.