Originally published: Oct. 3, 2011, 12:13 p.m.
Updated: Oct. 3, 2011, 5:22 p.m.
ASHEVILLE, N.C. — Same-sex couples and their supporters launched their “We Do” campaign on Monday as three couples were denied marriage licenses by the Buncombe County Register of Deeds. The activist effort will organize a dozen same-sex couples who will request marriage licenses in the Blue Ridge city over the next two weeks.
Reverend Kathryn Cartledge and Elizabeth Eve, her partner of 30 years, were among three same-sex couples to request marriage licenses from the Buncombe County Register of Deeds on Monday. They were denied the opportunity to fill out the paperwork. The other couples were Autumn Trama and Amanda McKenzie, and Loraine Allen and Amanda Hilty.
The three couples were joined by two other couples and a group of supporters including state Reps. Susan Fisher (D-Buncombe) and Patsy Keever (D-Buncombe), Asheville City Councilmember Gordon Smith and the Rev. Joe Hoffman, a local straight ally and LGBT advocate.
“Today, we launch an effort that will grow across the South,” Campaign for Southern Equality (southernequality.org) Executive Director Jasmine Beach-Ferrara said in a release. “The WE DO Campaign is about people having the courage to stand up to laws that are immoral and unjust. The people taking part in this action are called to act not just on their own behalf but on behalf of the large and diverse community of LGBT people in our state, many of whom cannot be out because of very real concerns about their safety and security – from the gay youth who endures bullying at school each day to the transgender person who is not protected from employment discrimination.”
The Campaign for Southern Equality’s “We Do” campaign will run through Oct. 14. It will end with a day-long series of events including a public action and public blessing of same-sex couples.