JACKSONVILLE, Florida -- Chuck Chapman responded to a call for jury duty Tuesday, but he said he refused to serve as long as the courthouse won’t hold wedding ceremonies for same-sex couples.
After a federal court ruled Florida’s same-sex marriage ban unconstitutional, Duval County Clerk of Court Ronnie Fussell said his office would comply with the law and issue marriage licenses. But he said his staff felt uncomfortable performing weddings for same-sex couples, so the clerk’s office wouldn’t host ceremonies for either straight or gay couples.
“If they feel uncomfortable performing the weddings in the courthouse, then as an openly gay man I feel uncomfortable being here [at the courthouse],” Chapman said Tuesday.
Chapman’s 63, and he’s lived in the city since he was 2. He graduated from Andrew Jackson High School, then the University of North Florida. He’s owned a hair salon for 22 years on the Southside.
“It’s my town, and I happen to be a gay man,” he said. “Don’t make it any more difficult than it has been. It’s my town, too.”
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