Here’s the press release from the Campaign for Southern Equality:
Couple of 40 years says Amendment One is unconstitutional, North Carolina should legalize same-sex marriage
Asheville, N.C. – On Wednesday, October 2 at 10:30 a.m., a same-sex couple will seek a marriage license at the Henderson County Register of Deeds Office as the WE DO Campaign continues to grow across North Carolina. Mary Burson and Carole Kaiser, who have been together for 40 years and reside in Henderson County, seek to have their relationship recognized by the state of North Carolina. Burson and Kaiser will be joined by family, friends and clergy who will lead a public prayer service before the couples enter the Register of Deeds office.
“We have been in a loving relationship for 40 years and during that time we helped raise eight children together. Our commitment has been no less than that of a married couple,” says Burson.
The couple will ask the Henderson County Register of Deeds Office to issue a license as an act of conscience and in recognition that Amendment One, which bans same-sex marriage, violates their freedom to marry. Marriage license offices in other states, most recently New Mexico and Pennsylvania, have already taken this public stand.
Through the WE DO Campaign, couples like Burson and Kaiser are starting a conversation about marriage equality in their hometowns across the state.
Henderson County is home to 268 same-sex couples, 16 percent of whom are raising children, according to the 2010 U.S. Census. A new Elon poll shows support for gay marriage in NC is growing rapidly and that 68 percent of voters under 30 support marriage rights for same-sex couples: http://www.elon.edu/docs/e-web/elonpoll/092013_ElonPollSummary.pdf.
“Amendment One is immoral, unconstitutional and harmful to real people across North Carolina. We will keep taking action with the WE DO Campaign until this law changes,” says Rev. Jasmine Beach-Ferrara, Executive Director of the Campaign for Southern Equality. “Mary and Carole will request a marriage license because they have a fundamental right to marry. In this spirit, we pray that the Henderson County Register of Deeds Office will choose to issue them a license and recognize their equality and dignity.”
Launched in 2011 as an initiative of the Campaign for Southern Equality, the WE DO Campaign has involved more than 80 lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) couples requesting marriage licenses in their hometowns across the South to call for full equality. LGBT couples in North Carolina will apply for marriage licenses in their hometowns on the following dates:
August 21: Madison County (completed)
August 30: Forsyth County (completed)
September 16: Guilford County (completed)
October 2: Henderson County
October 9: Mecklenburg County
October 15: Buncombe County
November 1: Transylvania County
November 4: Cabarrus County
November 22: Rowan County
Based in the South, the Campaign for Southern Equality is a national effort to assert the full humanity and equality of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people in American life and to increase public support for LGBT rights.