Six peaceful protesters supporting same-sex marriages were told by the postmaster to leave the grounds of the Chester Post Office Monday afternoon.
As each raised signs, on National Tax Day, calling attention to the tax inequities faced by same-sex couples, the group was forced to trek a hundred yards to West Hundred Road and continued their protest, which lasted for another hour and a half.
“I wonder if that would have happened if we were protesting something else,” said Billy Squier, the only gay person protesting. The other five protestors were happily-married couples from the area.
One married couple, Tiffany and Chris Word, both chapter leaders of Marriage Equality USA in Virginia, also protested Monday. According to a press release they shared on behalf the event, tax inequities result from state and federal laws refusing to recognize or extend civil marriage protections to same-sex couples – a total of 1,138 rights, they said, have been denied to this particular demographic.
“If same-sex couples were simply recognized as ‘married’ this whole nightmare for everyone would end. It is so simple to treat everyone equally and such a pain to try to create separate and inferior categories for same-sex couples who simply want to be taxed and treated the same as all other married couples,” said Ms. Word, in the press release delivered that morning.
Her husband, Chris, a former US marine, said it would probably be a surprise to the community that the people who started the local chapter were “straight.”
For the protestors, their forced relocation to West Hundred Road only facilitated the effect of their demonstration. There, drivers passing by showed their acknowledgment by honking at them.
When asked why they were so compliant in moving off the grounds of the Post Office, protestor Chet Waldrod with his wife, Barbara, said, “We didn’t want to get arrested because have church after this.”