Jef Laudieri and Will Peyton have been together for nine years.
NASHVILLE, Tenn. -
A Nashville same sex couple hopes to pave the way for gay marriage in Tennessee in the future.
Jef Laudieri and Will Peyton have been together for nine years and want to take their relationship to the next level.
The couple went to the Davidson County Clerk's Office Wednesday to apply for a marriage license but was turned down.
"We're prohibited from issuing marriage licenses to two persons of the same sex so we're not allowed to issue that. It is Tennessee law," a woman behind the counter told them.
Same sex marriages are banned in Tennessee.
Laudieri and Peyton told Nashville's News 2 they were aware of the law but wanted to make a point.
"We just want the same piece of mind that every other married couple has always had and we want to do it in Tennessee where we live," said Laudieri.
A national "We Do" campaign has recently targeted states that don't allow same sex marriage.
Their action is part of a Tennessee based effort.
"It's important that Tennessee get on board with the other 13 states that have done this," said Laudieri.
The couple was joined by supporters outside the clerk's office including a representative with the Tennessee Equality Project who said the organization is fighting to have the ban overturned.
In a statement, David Fowler, President of The Family Action Council of Tennessee, said, "The issue that arose today was whether the clear will of 81% of Tennessee's voters who chose to define marriage in our state constitution as being between one man and one woman would be circumvented because a small minority disagree."