Same-sex couples seeking officials who will defy state anti-gay marriage ban
CHARLOTTE, N.C. — An organization pushing for same-sex marriage equality across the state and across the South will continue their fall activism campaign this week in Charlotte.
The Campaign for Southern Equality has held several sit-ins and other demonstrations across the South. This fall, they have chosen to focus on their home state. Starting in August, the group made visits to Madison County, Forsyth County and Guilford County. At each stop, same-sex couples request marriage licenses from county clerks. The group says they are searching for a clerk who will stand on his or her convictions and defy state law banning marriage between same-sex couples.
The Asheville-based group will stop in Charlotte this week. They plan on visiting the Mecklenburg County Register of Deeds on Wednesday. qnotes will cover the protest event live on Twitter and Facebook.
Last week two women — Mary Burson, 79, and her partner, Carole Kaiser, 79, asked for a marriage license in Henderson County.
“Carole and I are here today to apply for a marriage license,” said Burson, “because we love each other, we’ve been together for 40 years…we’ve raised eight children together and we want to make the commitment that our brothers and sisters that are heterosexual can make.”
The couple was denied.
“Well, consider is about all I can do, because you both know that according to North Carolina law, I cannot issue the marriage license (to same-sex couples),” Henderson County Register of Deeds Nedra Moles said. “I’ve made you a copy of the N.C. General Statute, in case you would like to look at it, but I cannot do this today. So, I must turn you down.”
The group’s stop in Guilford County on Sept. 16 faced similar opposition. But, Guilford County Register of Deeds Jeff Thigpen also issued a public statement of support for same-sex marriage. He also participated in a prayer of reconciliation with the group.