What was supposed to be the happiest day of Samantha Brookover's and Amanda Abramovich's lives instantly turned sour. Two years after the West Virginia natives' intimate ceremony—and after the Supreme Court's legalization of same-sex marriage—in which they vowed to spend the rest of their lives together, the couple attempted to finalize the formalities of legal marriage by obtaining a certificate from the Gilmer County courthouse. What should've been a seamless (and completely exciting) visit turned into a nightmare after a Gilmer County deputy clerk called the couple an "abomination."
The deputy clerk, Debbie Allen, allegedly "launched into a tirade of harassment and disparagement," according to a lawsuit filed April 17. As Allen aggressively processed the paperwork, she allegedly screamed at the couple, claiming God would "deal with them."
Brookover cried during the ordeal, while Abramovich shook in complete disbelief, according to their statement to The Washington Post. "Instead of the happiest day of our lives, we will forever remember our wedding day as one filled with fear, tears, and humiliation," the couple wrote in a blog post for Americans United for Separation of Church and State. "This should've never happened to us."
Growing up in the largely conservative state of West Virginia, Brookover said she and her wife had been quiet about their relationship up until their marriage, with some residents treating them differently or shooting them mean looks.
"We don't go around flaunting it in front of everyone; we know everybody has their difference of opinion," Brookover said. "But it's not a matter of your opinion as much as it is doing your job."
Despite the clerk's behavior, Brookover finds peace in the memory of her commitment ceremony. "It was perfect. I don't want to forget that day being so happy because it's crowded out by the legal day."