QUEER VOICES

This Gay Man Was 'Humiliated' And 'Degraded' Trying To Get Married In Texas

A Texas county clerk refused to give Jim Cato a marriage license, saying it was against her religious beliefs.

When the Supreme Court ruled in favor of gay marriage, Jim Cato and his partner of 27 years were "ecstatic." But their euphoria was curtailed three days later when they called their county clerk's office in pursuit of a marriage license, Cato recounted to HuffPost Live on Thursday.

After going to the office, the couple was told that "it was against the religious beliefs of the county clerk" to wed them. They were then "kicked out" with the assistance of six sheriffs.

"It was just like someone had sucked all the air out of you at that time," Cato recalled of the experience. "We just couldn't believe it. It was a clear violation of our civil rights. ... After waiting 27 years, just to wait one more hour, to me, was unacceptable. We were humiliated. We were degraded."

Cato secured a marriage license on July 6, 12 hours after filing a case against the Hood County Clerk's office in federal court, but his lawyers are continuing on with the lawsuit until the county clerk vows to stop turning away other gay couples.

Over a month later, Cato says fighting for the right to marry was entirely "worth it."

"I would do it again and again if I had to," he affirmed. "Whatever you have to do to assure your civil rights and the civil rights of others is important."

Watch more from HuffPost Live's conversation on states refusing gay marriage in the wake of SCOTUS' decision here.

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