Photos: Meet North Carolina’s first married same-sex couples

Offices in Greensboro, Raleigh and Asheville stayed open late on Friday

Continuing special coverage as marriage equality comes to North Carolina…

It didn’t take long for wedding bells to ring for some Tar Heel same-sex couples after a western North Carolina judge issued his order striking down the state’s anti-LGBT constitutional amendment on Friday afternoon.

In Raleigh, Greensboro and Asheville, local registers of deeds offices stayed open late, allowing dozens of couples to receive marriage licenses. Some opted to get married right on the spot.

Asheville

Amy Cantrell and Lauren White are married outside the Buncombe County Register of Deeds office on Friday evening by the Rev. Lisa Bovee-Kemper. Cantrell and White were among the first same-sex couples in North Carolina to receive legal marriage licenses and legally wed. Photo Credit: Campaign for Southern Equality.

Amy Cantrell and Lauren White are married outside the Buncombe County Register of Deeds office on Friday evening by the Rev. Lisa Bovee-Kemper. Cantrell and White were among the first same-sex couples in North Carolina to receive legal marriage licenses and legally wed. Photo Credit: Campaign for Southern Equality.

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Amy Cantrell, 42, and Lauren White, 29, were the first same-sex couple to receive their license in Asheville. Buncombe County Register Drew Reisinger helped them complete their marriage license. Immediately afterwards, Cantrell, White and their two children stepped outside the office and were the couple of six years was wed by the Rev. Lisa Bovee-Kemper.

“We’ve been waiting for this day for years,” Cantrell told the Associated Press.

Raleigh

Chad Boggs and Chris Creech celebrate after their marriage in Raleigh. Photo Credit: ACLU of North Carolina.

Chad Boggs and Chris Creech celebrate after their marriage in Raleigh. Photo Credit: ACLU of North Carolina.

In Raleigh, the Wake County Register of Deeds office reopened following news of the marriage ruling. There, Wake County Sheriff’s Deputy Chad Biggs, 35, and his partner Chris Creech, 46 and also a sheriff’s department employee, were first in line.

“Even before this I was happy, but I think now that it’s on paper and it’s legal — it’s a commitment between two people,” Biggs told the AP.

Greensboro

Brad Newton and Frank Brooks, both wearing pink roses, had waited at the Guilford County Register of Deeds office since Thursday. Photo Credit: Equality NC.

Brad Newton and Frank Brooks, both wearing pink roses, had waited at the Guilford County Register of Deeds office since Thursday. Photo Credit: Equality NC.

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In Greensboro, Register of Deeds Jeff Thigpen also reopened his office.

“We had a federal judicial order of the likes that hasn’t come down in a generation and we had a lot of people who wanted to come in and get a license to get married and spend the rest of their lives with someone that they love,” Thigpen told Greensboro’s WFMY.

Thigpen added: “We needed to be here and we needed to serve them and as you can tell, the energy and the emotion here is electric.”

And, serve Thigpen did — dozens of couples received licenses and wed in Greensboro. The first was Brad Newton and Frank Brooks of Colfax. The two had waited at the registers of deeds office since Thursday.

Also married in Greensboro was statewide LGBT movement leader Chris Sgro and his partner Ryan Butler. Sgro, the executive director of Equality North Carolina, was joined by his mother and other family members at the register’s office.

Continuing special coverage as marriage equality comes to North Carolina…

Chris Sgro and Ryan Butler are wed by the Rev. Julie Peeples at the Guilford County Register of Deeds office.

Chris Sgro and Ryan Butler are wed by the Rev. Julie Peeples at the Guilford County Register of Deeds office.

 

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Posted by Matt Comer

Matt Comer previously served as editor from October 2007 through August 2015 and as a staff writer afterward in 2016.

3 Replies to “Photos: Meet North Carolina’s first married same-sex couples”

  1. Kerowin St Clair October 11, 2014 at 2:01 pm

    Congratulations to all, and many happy years ahead. It was a long time a-coming but finally NC was dragged into the real world..and soon the rest of the states, too. Then we can all get on with things that we should have been fighting for, instead of basic rights :) <3

  2. Hopefully, South Carolina won’t be far behind. I have been partnered for 34 years with no legal protection. I don’t want one bit more than my heterosexual friends. But I demand equal treatment under the law. The bigots be damned. I can’t control their hate, but I can thrive in the freedom that should be guaranteed by the constitution. They simply can’t pray gay away.

  3. Chris Blocker-Brodfuehrer October 11, 2014 at 3:58 pm

    My husband and I married lasty year in DC. As residents of Person County, I am sure we are the first of our county and certainly among the first in the state. Given that we have a farm in the country, we are probably not the exciting photo op as these other folks. Nonetheless, Congrats to those just now getting married! I know we look forward to filing amended returns this year :)

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