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Deaf couple sues after Duval clerk denies marriage license

Deaf.JPG
Dan Scanlan
/
Florida Times-Union
Yusela Machado Silvente speaks via sign language with fiance Joel Alfaro, who also is deaf.

Joel Alfaro and Yusela Machado Silvente were ready to get married one year ago when they went to the Duval County Clerk of Courts Office to get their marriage license.

Both deaf, they had first met exactly 10 years earlier and were finally ready to tie the knot on that anniversary, they said.

But the couple said the clerk's office refused to process their marriage license on Oct. 15, 2021. They got the same response multiple times through this past August. The reason: They didn’t bring a sign language interpreter with them to the clerk's office.

Now Alfaro and Silvente have filed a federal lawsuit saying Duval County Clerk of Court Jody Phillips and his office violated the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Read the rest of this story at WJCT News partner The Florida Times-Union.