Today, couples across North Carolina (from Onslow County in the east to Haywood County in the west) are putting their love on the record as we keep growing the WE DO Campaign. Through our new statewide effort, legally-married LGBT couples are recording their marriage license as public documents in their home counties across NC as an act of protest against Amendment One.
Couples like Hilary and Emma are married in their hearts and in the eyes of the federal government. That’s a human reality that no one can deny, regardless of a discriminatory law like Amendment One. By going to the Buncombe County Register of Deeds and paying $26 to record their marriage license as a public document, Hilary and Emma created a record of their love and commitment. Their action also highlights how illogical and unjust Amendment One is.
If you are legally married same-sex couple and would like to register your marriage license to take a stand against Amendment One, click here. You can also support our work for equality by making a gift of $26 - the amount it cost Hilary and Emma to record their marriage license.
. . . → Read More: Put your love on record
It’s been an incredible week.
(1) Here in Buncombe County, the WE DO Campaign took us one step closer to equality, as Register of Deeds Drew Reisinger began accepting marriage license applications from LGBT couples. Watch what happened at Tuesday’s WE DO action in this great video from the Asheville Citizen-Times.
(2) Mecklenburg County Commissioners voted to include gender identity in their employment discrimination policy, thanks to the hard work of local organizers and elected officials.
(3) Oregon has just announced that it will recognize the marriages of LGBT couples wed in other states.
(4) New Jersey is poised to legalize marriage equality starting on Monday.
What happened in Asheville this week demonstrates that the WE DO Campaign is working. We’re changing the public conversation about equality in the South and, through strong national media coverage, our country’s understanding about LGBT life here. In the past two months as we’ve led WE DO actions across NC, numerous state and local elected officials in Greensboro, Charlotte and Asheville have stood with us to call for LGBT equality. This is what happens when you show up again and again at marriage license counters across the South to say, we are equal and laws that deny that are simply wrong. As a supporter of CSE, you are making this happen and we are so grateful to be on this journey with you.
(Waiting for the Buncombe County Register of Deeds Office to open on Tuesday morning.Photo credit: Laurie Johnson.)
The marriage license applications that have been accepted in Buncombe County now sit with the Attorney General’s Office, along with a formal request for an opinion on legal questions such as “what legitimate interest does the state of NC have in denying a marriage license to a same-sex couple?”
This moment highlights exactly why . . . → Read More: We’re winning
Brenda and Carol have spent 25 years together in a committed relationship and raised 2 kids. They seek the right to marry in their home state of North Carolina. On October 15 they will apply for a marriage license for the 4th time in Buncombe County as part of the WE DO Campaign.
Brenda and Carol remain hopeful about being granted a marriage license, saying “We are simply asking for the same rights that other straight couples in North Carolina enjoy. We are hopeful that Drew Reisinger, as the Buncombe County Register of Deeds, will consider approving our marriage license application in light of what has occurred in other states in regard to marriage equality.”
Please send Brenda and Carol a message of support here.
Two years ago this week, LGBT couples first applied for marriage licenses as part of the WE DO Campaign. You can watch couples call for rights in this video, including Brenda and Carol.
On October 2, 2013, Mary and Carol, residents of Henderson County, North Carolina, will request a marriage license at the Henderson County Register of Deeds’ office as the WE DO Campaign continues to grow across North Carolina. You can read about their life together below as told by Mary:
In 1974, Mary and Carole made a life-long commitment to be there for each other. We each had four children from our previous marriages. In 1974 their ages were 18 to 9. The 1970’s were difficult. We sent more than one psychologist around the world as we went through the process of learning how to cope with angry and confused children and our own homophobia.
As the years passed, our children grew up, got married and gave us 13 grandchildren. Through those years, love won out and today our relationship is celebrated by all. In 2014, we will celebrate our 40th anniversary and our 80th birthdays.
We are excited about having a small part in the “WE DO” campaign in Hendersonville, NC. Never did we dream that in our lifetime marriage of gay people would be discussed or a possibility. After hiding out for many years, we are proud to now stand up for what is fundamentally just and constitutionally right. We believe strongly that all peoples, regardless of sexual orientation, should be able to stand before a judge and say “I do” and in so doing receive the same rights and privileges that married people have both federally and in their states.
Our children and grandchildren, as well as our friends, are thrilled that we are taking this step to speak out for justice. Unfortunately, our children all live a distance. However, one of them is driving to be with us and walk by our side when we apply for a . . . → Read More: Mary and Carol
On September 16, Shela and Deborah requested a marriage license at their local Register of Deeds’ office in Greenboro, NC as part of the WE DO Campaign. You can read media coverage of the action by the Associated Press here.
Shela and Deborah at counter speaking with Mr. Thigpen
The letter Shela and Deborah sent to Jeff Thigpen, the Guilford County Register of Deeds, before they applied can be read below.
Dear Honorable Jeff Thigpen,
I am a resident of Guilford County. My partner and I are in a same-sex relationship and would like to marry. I am writing to inquire whether you would grant us a marriage license if we came to your office to apply in person? We plan to come and apply on Monday, September 16.
. . . → Read More: Shela and Deborah