Same-sex couples ask for marriage licenses

Group has been demonstrating on Valentine's Day for 10 years

Published On: Feb 14 2012 05:18:23 PM CST   Updated On: Feb 14 2012 05:42:09 PM CST
HOUSTON -

All over Houston Tuesday, couples celebrated Valentine's Day with flowers, chocolates and romantic dinners. Some even got married.

But one group was asking, "What about us?"

Same-sex couples and the Foundation for Family and Marriage Equality demonstrated outside the Harris County Clerk's Office Tuesday, and have been doing so on Valentine's Day for 10 years. They said will continue asking for marriage licenses until something changes.

The group was joined by Houston Mayor Annise Parker.

"It is not my responsibility as mayor of Houston to try to change legislation that doesn't directly affect the city of Houston," Parker said. "But I'm still a human being, and this is an issue that touches me."

Parker is part of the national group, Mayors for Freedom to Marry, which has the support of more than 70 mayors who formed a coalition with the gay and lesbian community.

Many outside the courthouse chanted about love, commitment and marriage -- three things that are often celebrated on Valentine's Day. However, they knew their effort Tuesday won't solve much on one day.

"We both love each other," Priscilla Gonzales, who was denied a marriage license, said. "We've been together for eight years. We're great people in this society."

But because Gonzales and her partner are in a same-sex relationship, they cannot legally get married in the state of Texas.

"When you hear that 'no,' it's like a slap in the face," said Rob Martinez, one of the people denied a marriage license Tuesday. "Kick in the gut. It's horrible."