… And clearly this Jefferson County jury followed the law, but also sent a message about the shifting public opinion of gay marriage.
Dominique James (represented by Annie O’Connell) and Maurice Blanchard (represented by Ted Shouse) are a homosexual couple who wanted to obtain a marriage license from the Jefferson County Clerk’s Office. When they were denied, the men stayed on the property after closing time in protest; they peacefully refused to leave and were arrested. In an amazing gesture of support, the arresting officer, Metro Lt. Robert Shadle, shook their hands before he took them into custody.
The jury convicted the men of trespassing, but fined them $.01, the minimum under the law. It seems they didn’t even want to do that – during deliberations they sent a note to Judge Sheila Collins asking if they had to impose a fine.
This result in this case should bolster our faith in the jury system… despite the fact that the jury seemingly didn’t want to punish the men, they followed the law and convicted them.
This result should also be a message to the legislature – the public opinion of gay marriage has changed, and our Constitutional amendment is UNconstitutional.