Mayer Brown secured a favorable settlement for a West Virginia same-sex couple who was harassed while applying for a marriage license by a Gilmer County clerk citing religious objections to marriage equality.
When high-school sweethearts Amanda Abramovich and Samantha Brookover asked for a marriage license on Feb. 3, 2016, they were subjected to a rant by a Gilmer County clerk, who called the women an “abomination” to God and said their marriage shouldn’t be legal. To prevent future discrimination, Mayer Brown, working in conjunction with Americans United for Separation of Church and State and Fairness West Virginia, filed a complaint on behalf of the couple alleging that Gilmer County and certain of its employees violated the US Constitution by treating same-sex couples differently from others in the name of religion.
As part of the settlement, Gilmer County apologized for the wrongdoing of the county clerk’s office and promised to take steps to ensure that county officials and employees do not discriminate against anyone in the future, regardless of religious beliefs about sexual orientation or gender identity. The county also agreed to pay damages in recognition of the harms suffered by the couple. The Mayer Brown team included Supreme Court & Appellate partner Brian Netter (Washington DC) and Intellectual Property counsel Manuel Velez (New York).