home
arts
literature
social sciences
special features
discussion
about glbtq
   search

 
   Encyclopedia
   Discussion
 
 
 
 
Advertising Opportunities
Press Kit
Research Guide
Terms of Service
Privacy Policy
Copyright
 
site guide
search tips
research guide
editors & contributors
contact us
send feedback
write the editor
 
 
 
 
subscribe
Subscribe to our free e-mail newsletter to receive a spotlight on glbtq culture every month.
e-mail address:
 
 
 
  unsubscribe
 
 
Popular Topics in The Arts
Drag Shows: Drag Queens and Female Impersonators Drag Shows: Drag Queens and Female Impersonators
Female impersonation need say nothing about sexual identity, but it has for a long time been almost an institutionalized aspect of gay male culture.
 
Photography: Gay Male, Pre-Stonewall Photography: Gay Male, Pre-Stonewall
Although sparse in images documenting the gay community, pre-Stonewall gay male photography blurs the boundaries between art, erotica, and social history.
 
Erotic and Pornographic Art: Gay Male Erotic and Pornographic Art: Gay Male
Given the historic stigma around making, circulating, and possessing overtly homoerotic images, the visual arts have been especially important for providing a socially sanctioned arena for depicting the naked male body and suggesting homoerotic desire.
 
New Queer Cinema
Independent films that aggressively assert homosexual identity and queer culture, the New Queer Cinema can be seen as the culmination of several developments in American cinema.
 
White, Minor
Renowned photographer, teacher, critic, editor, and curator, Minor White created some of the most interesting photographs of male nudes of the second half of the twentieth century, but did not exhibit them for fear of scandal.
 
Halston (Roy Halston Frowick)
The first international fashion superstar, Halston dressed and befriended some of America's most glamorous women.
 
Surrealism Surrealism
An artistic movement that grew out of Dadaism and flourished in Europe shortly after World War I, Surrealism embraced the idea that art was an expression of the subconscious.
 
Winfield, Paul
Film, stage, and television actor Paul Winfield was openly gay in his private life, but maintained public silence about his homosexuality.
 
Topics In the News
 
Kentucky Jury Convicts Gay Couple for Marriage License Sit-In; Fines Them a Penny
Posted by: Claude J. Summers on 11/27/13
Last updated on: 11/27/13
 
Bookmark and Share


Dominique James (left) and Maurice "Bojangles" Blanchard.

On January 22, 2013, Reverend Maurice "Bojangles" Blanchard and Dominique James applied for a marriage license in the office of Jefferson County Clerk of Court in Louisville, Kentucky. When they were denied the license, they refused to leave the office. At 5:00 p.m. that day, after disregarding the directive of a security officer and policemen to leave, and refusing to accept a citation, the couple were arrested for criminal trespassing and jailed briefly. On November 26, a Jefferson County jury convicted them of trespassing and levied a fine of one penny.

The trial was originally scheduled for August, but it had to be delayed when an impartial jury could not be seated from a jury pool of 20. When jury selection recommenced on November 25, there was a jury pool of 40.

Adam Wolfson reports in the Courier-Journal that during the three-hour trial on November 26, attorneys for Blanchard and James, who have been a couple for nine years, asked the jury to examine their consciences in deliberating the men's fate, while the prosecutors, who were not asking for jail time, attempted to limit the question to whether they had violated the law.

Blanchard, who was ordained a minister last year at Highland Baptist Church, testified that he had a spiritual obligation to oppose Kentucky's constitutional amendment banning the performance or recognition of gay marriage.

He said that he was driven to seek a marriage license after a gay man in his ministry was recently barred from visiting his partner as he lay dying in a hospital. "They said he wasn't family," Blanchard explained.

James testified that he wanted to marry Blanchard so they could legally adopt a child and "in recognition that our relationship is equal to that of our heterosexual brothers and sisters."

Seven witnesses testified for the prosecution that the couple refused to leave the office after its 5 p.m. closing time, despite being asked to do so by a security guard, the chief deputy sheriff, and Louisville Metro police.

"Did these two men have your permission to stay there?" Assistant County Attorney Matthew Welch asked Clerk Bobbie Holsclaw.

"No, they didn't," she replied, adding that a clerk who grants a marriage license to a same-sex couple can be removed from office and convicted of a crime under Kentucky law and the state's constitutional amendment banning gay marriage.

But law enforcement officers, including Metro Lt. Robert Shadle, who arrested the men when they refused to accept a citation, said they were quiet, peaceful, and respectful.

In their summations, the attorneys for the defendants said their clients were peaceful protesters who had done nothing wrong, while the prosecutor said that the evidence of guilt was overwhelming and that the jury should convict.

After the seven-person jury was sequestered to deliberate on a verdict in the case, they sent a note to Judge Sheila Collins asking if they could convict the defendants and impose no fine. She replied that if they convicted, they had to fine the defendants something.

Soon afterwards, the jury reported their verdict: guilty with a fine of one cent.

Crediting the defendants for the brief time they served in jail after their arrest, Judge Collins discharged the fine and waived court costs.

Following the verdict, Blanchard called the penalty a vindication of their protest in support of same-sex marriage.

"It shows [the jury] understood what we were doing."

Blanchard's counsel, Ted Shouse, remarked that he had never tried a case in which the maximum penalty--$250--"was so low and the stakes were so high."

Jessie Halladay, a spokeswoman for the county attorney's office, said after the verdict that prosecutors had no choice but to take the case to trial.

"We respect the right of the defendants to protest, but we also respect the law, and the law doesn't distinguish what causes are worth breaking the law for," she said.

She also noted that the defendants rejected a plea offer in which the charges would have been dismissed in return for both serving five hours of service for the charity of their choice.

Attorneys for James and Blanchard said their clients refused to take the deal because they felt they had done nothing wrong.

In the clip below, WLKY Louisville reports on the beginning of the trial.

 
Related Encyclopedia Entries
 
browse:   arts   literature   social-sciences   discussion boards
 
learn more about glbtq       contact us       advertise on glbtq.com
 
Bookmark and Share

glbtq™ and its logo are trademarks of glbtq, Inc.
This site and its contents Copyright © 2002-2014, glbtq, Inc.

Your use of this site indicates that you accept its Terms of Service.