Sunday, May 4, 2008


I just received the following email from Kate Burns who, with her partner, Sheila Schroeder, were arrested and are due to go on trial this coming Wednesday, May 6th. Please also watch the video of their non-violent stand for the same right to marry to which all heterosexuals who seek to make a lifetime commitment to each other are entitled.

Please also watch the video by accessing the link provided at the end of her email that shows their civil rights activism and their arrest.

God bless their Pastor who is solidly behind them and the right to same-sex marriage!

(Denver, CO) – The trial for lesbian couple Kate Burns and Sheila Schroeder is scheduled for 8:30 a.m. Tuesday, May 6th at the Denver City and County Building located at 1437 Bannock Street, in Courtroom 117M. The two were arrested for trespassing on September 24, 2007 when they peacefully remained at the Denver Clerk and Recorder Office after being denied the opportunity to apply for a marriage license. Burns and Schroeder will be represented by lead counsel Mari Newman of Killmer, Lane & Newman, LLP. Their sit-in protest was an effort to achieve basic fairness and marriage equality for all Colorado families. Numerous religious leaders have registered their endorsement for the couple by submitting affidavits in support of marriage equality.

When the trial was continued on April 14th, prosecuting attorneys attempted to prevent the couple’s supporters from wearing rainbow-colored armbands in the courtroom. Lawyers for the defense vigorously objected, citing case law that protects every citizen’s right to freedom of expression. Judge James Breese will rule on the motion before jury selection on Tuesday.

Attorney Mari Newman commented, “Ms. Burns and Ms. Schroeder are proud participants in one of America’s greatest traditions: speaking out publicly against injustice. Strong and committed individuals like Kate and Sheila are responsible for some of our greatest civil rights achievements from the signing of the Declaration of Independence, to the end of racial segregation, to the legalization of multiracial marriages. One wonders what the current state of our country would be without civil rights heroes like Kate and Sheila. I am proud to represent them.”

When asked about her decision to participate in their September 24th sit-in, Sheila Schroeder said, "This is a matter of basic equality and fundamental human rights which should be extended to all citizens. My conscience told me I had to stand up and urge my government to be accountable to the highest law in the land, the United States Constitution. The fourteenth amendment guarantees equal protection for everyone—that includes Kate and me, and all the other loving and committed gay and lesbian couples who deserve the same legal rights automatically granted to heterosexual couples.”

Kate Burns added, “Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. said that ‘Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.’ As loyal Coloradans and Americans, we are compelled to work toward improving our community, and that means refusing to be silent about injustice. As people of faith, we also invoke our first amendment right to the ‘free exercise’ of our religion. Our minister—like the many other religious leaders who wrote affidavits for our case—would marry us today if his hands were not tied by a Colorado law that shamefully enshrines discrimination in our state Constitution.”

>> WHO: Lesbian couple Kate Burns and Sheila Schroeder; Attorney Mari Newman of Killmer, Lane & Newman, LLP.

>> WHAT: Trial for trespassing charges during peaceful nonviolent protest on September 24, 2007.

>> WHEN: Tuesday, May 6th, 8:30 a.m. MDT

>> WHERE: Denver City and County Building, 1437 Bannock Street, Courtroom 117M.

Video of the September 24, 2007 marriage equality action is viewable at .
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