CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Several same-sex couples are expected to attempt to apply for marriage licenses today in two separate activist campaign events in Wilson, N.C., and Winston-Salem, N.C.
The events are the sixth series of stops in an across-the-South January action organized by the Asheville, N.C.-based Campaign for Southern Equality’s “WE DO Campaign.” The actions began on Jan. 7. More than two dozen same-sex couple shave already applied for and been denied marriage licenses at events Hattiesburg, Miss., Moble, Ala., Decatur, Ga., Morristown, Tenn., Greenville, S.C. and Asheville, N.C. The Greenville and Asheville events were held on Friday, when a total of 13 couples were denied marriage licenses.
Campaign organizers say their month-long action is intended to bring awareness to the discriminatory, anti-LGBT laws in the South. The group is also calling for full federal marriage equality.
“LGBT individuals and families live in every city and town across the South, yet do so as second-class citizens,” Campaign for Southern Equality Executive Director Rev. Jasmine Beach-Ferrara said in a press release. “The people taking part in the WE DO Campaign are standing up to say, we are equal, and discriminatory laws must change on the federal level.”
All of the couples who have applied for licenses live in the counties where they have sought to have their marriages recognized. So far, there have been no arrests stemming from civil disobedience. In the past, WE DO Campaign activists have staged sit-ins after being denied marriage licenses.
The Wilson event is scheduled to take place at 9:30 a.m. The Winston-Salem event will follow at 3:30 p.m. this afternoon. Both will be attended by families, friends and supporters of the couples. Clergy will also hold a prayer for reconciliation during the events.
Each of the states the campaign has visited have anti-LGBT marriage amendments in their state constitutions. North Carolina voters passed their amendment on May 8, 2012.
For more information on the campaign, visit southernequality.org.