A lesbian couple was arrested in Denver yesterday following their protest of Colorado’s ban on same-sex marriages.

Sheila Schroeder, 43 and Kate Burns, 44, staged the sit-in protest in the Wellington E.Webb Municipal Building, when they were refused an application for a marriage licence from the Denver Clerk and Recorder Office.

The couple, who have been together for five years, took Rev. Mike Morran, their local minister from Denver’s First Unitarian Church with them.

Rev. Morran said:

“I am proud to stand on the side of love in support of Kate and Sheila.

“From a church point of view, marriage is a sacrament and the state should stay out of it. This civil right – the freedom to marry – should apply to all citizens.”

The couple were arrested when the office closed for the day and issued with citations for trespassing. They were released without bail soon after.

In November 2006 Colorado voted to ban same sex marriages by adjusting the constitution so that marriage is only recognised if it is between a man and a woman.