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Popular Topics in Social Sciences
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Topics In the News
Same-Sex Couples Welcomed at North Carolina Marriage Registry
Posted by: Claude J. Summers on 10/15/13
Last updated on: 10/15/13
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A couple from Fairview, North Carolina apply for a marriage license.

On previous occasions, same-sex couples who applied for marriage licenses in North Carolina were turned away, sometimes politely but nevertheless definitively. However, on October 15, 2013 in Ashville, they were welcomed and given applications. Drew Reisinger, Buncombe County Register of Deeds, announced that he is now accepting marriage applications from same-sex couples. He will not sign or authorize them until North Carolina's Attorney General allows him to do so, but in an important departure he welcomed applications from gay couples.

Reisinger said that he made the decision in light of the U.S. Supreme Court's decision in Windsor that declared the Defense of Marriage Act unconstitutional.

North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper said that he personally supports marriage equality, but that he is committed to defending the state's ban on same-sex marriage.

"The State Constitution says that these marriage licenses cannot be issued and this is the law unless the Constitution is changed or the court says otherwise," Noelle Talley, spokeswoman for Cooper, said in an email.

In an event organized by the Campaign for Southern Equality, at 8:00 a.m. on October 15 more than 100 marriage equality supporters lined up at the Buncombe County Registrar's Office in Asheville to apply for marriage licenses.

"We are here to apply for a marriage license," said Brenda Clark and Carol McCrory, of Fairview, North Carolina, who had previously been turned away but who are nevertheless determined to marry.

"Congratulations," Reisinger replied, to the applause of the crowd.

Photos of the crowd and the couples may be found at the New Civil Rights Movement blog.

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