Asheville, NC – At 11 AM today, three same-sex couples will request – and be denied – marriage licenses. Another couple will attempt to record their Massachusetts marriage license at the Buncombe County Register of Deeds Office.
They join 14 other couples who have participated in the WE DO Campaign since its launch on October 3, 2011. Thirteen couples have been denied a license because current North Carolina law forbids issuing a license to same-sex couples. The couples were all prepared for this response and will be back again to request a license on October 14th as the WE DO Campaign intensifies its effort to resist unjust and harmful laws. One couple, legally married in California, recorded their California marriage license at the Register of Deeds Office.
“The couples taking part in the WE DO Campaign are doing so as an act of conscience, saying these laws are immoral and unjust and they must change,” says Jasmine Beach-Ferrara, Executive Director of the Campaign for Southern Equality and a candidate for ordination in the United Church of Christ.
Organized by the Campaign for Southern Equality, the WE DO campaign involves 20 couples requesting licenses between October 3 and 14, 2011 in Asheville, NC. Each couple is accompanied by a support team comprised of clergy, elected officials, and community members. Over 40 people are participating in the WE DO Campaign as members of the support team.
“For many years, we have believed in marriage equality as well as basic equality for all; however, we have not done much in regards to directly standing up against institutional practices that deny people these dignities. Stemming from our love for one another and our son and our determination that he knows that pride in one’s self, one’s family, and one’s friends is something worth standing up for, we decided to become involved with the Campaign for Southern Equality,” say Ryan and Will, who have been together for 10 years and were denied a license on October 7, 2011.
The couples that have been denied licenses are in loving, committed relationships and they seek what so many other couples do – the right to marry legally. The couples who have participated in the WE DO Campaign to date have been together for a collective total of over 143 years.
On October 14, the final day of the campaign, Rev. Joe Hoffman and Rev. Cartledge will lead a public, interfaith blessing of all LGBT families at Roger McGuire Green, in front of the Buncombe County Courthouse. They will be joined by clergy from across faith traditions and from across the country. Following the blessing, clergy and community members will lead a large public action, which will be followed by an act of civil disobedience.