05/02/2015 04:48 EDT | Updated 05/02/2016 05:12 EDT

Kahnawake mixed couple subject of 'marry out, stay out' protest

Dozens of protesters spent Saturday demonstrating in front of a house in Kahnawake, Que., where a Mohawk man lives with his non-native wife.

Marvin and Terry McComber woke up Saturday morning to spray-painted graffiti on the front of their two-storey yellow house, and on their daughter's car.

Terry McComber told CBC News she feels intimidated by the protesters, and fears for the safety of her children.

The protesters say the couple is breaking a law that has been on the books in Kahnawake since 1981. It states that any Mohawk resident who marries or lives with a non-native must move away from Kahnawake.

Nineteen-year-old resident Keisha Goodleaf is among the protesters outside the McComber home.

"Well I am here because I was raised [knowing that] you marry out, you get out. We all knew that. Everyone in town grew up knowing that," Goodleaf says.

She says she is worried about losing native land, language and culture.

Lawsuit pending

Seven mixed-race couples, including the McCombers, are taking the band counsel to court over the law, in a case that is not expected to be settled until 2017.

Barry and Sandy Stacey, who moved from Kahnawake when they married, are participating in the lawsuit. They attended the protest in defence of the McCombers and others in their situation.

"It's not right, I feel, because we're all human beings. I married my wife not because of her colour or her race, but because she's a lovely person. She loves me for who I am and I love her for who she is," Barry Stacey says.

Band council spokesman Joe Delaronde says he does not condone the vandalism, but the protesters have a right to demand the law be respected.

"They are asking that people respect the law on residency and membership," Delaronde says.

"One of the problems we've been having is that people, especially on the outside, not understanding that this is not about people not being able to have relationships or marriages with people from elsewhere. All it is, is that you can't live here. You can work here. You can play and you can visit every day."