This morning a federal challenge to Amendment One was filed in the Western District of North Carolina on behalf of the United Church of Christ (UCC) as a national denomination, clergy from across faith traditions and same-sex couples, according to a press release. The case challenges the constitutionality of marriage laws in North Carolina – including Amendment One – that ban marriage between same-sex couples and make it illegal for clergy to perform wedding ceremonies for same-sex couples within their congregations.
Today Buncombe County Register of Deeds Drew Reisinger became the first in the South to accept same-sex marriage licenses, as 10 couples requested them as part of an effort organized by the Campaign for Southern Equality. However, Reisinger stopped short of issuing the documents, saying that while he believes the state ban on same-sex marriage is in conflict with the U.S. Constitution, he will first formally request that North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper allow the marriages to proceed.
Did you miss Mountain Moral Monday? Here is an Xpress photo gallery of the event, featuring protesters, signs and guest speakers.
An estimated 8,000 to 10,000 people showed up for Mountain Moral Monday this evening, filling Pack Square Park and protesting the policies of the North Carolina General Assembly. It was one of the largest demonstrations in Asheville’s recent history. Photo by Julia Ritchey.
As the legislature’s finally ended its long session, opponents of the GOP-dominated General Assembly are taking the Moral Monday protests across the state, including to the core of Asheville at 5 p.m. Monday, Aug. 5.
Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) employees of Buncombe County gained another safeguard against discrimination after commissioners gave final approval April 16 to add “sexual orientation” and “gender identity” to its list of protected classes.
Three people arrested as part of the Campaign for Southern Equality’s WE DO protest in May were found not guilty on trespassing charges yesterday. (photo by Max Cooper)
Friday, same-sex couples went into the Buncombe County Register of Deeds office to request marriage licenses — knowing they would be denied — as part of the WE DO campaign. Eight people were arrested in the ensuing sit-in. The protests originated in Asheville last year and have since spread to other cities throughout the Southeast, garnering national and international media attention. Images of WE DO’s return to its home city. Photos by Max Cooper.
For refusing to leave the office of the Register of Deeds on Oct. 14, the Rev. Kathryn Cartledge and Elizabeth Eve were today found guilty of 2nd-degree Criminal Trespass in Buncombe County District Court. Both were found guilty and fined $10 plus court costs.
(Photo by Bill Rhodes)
The Asheville-based WE DO campaign — where couples try to register for marriage licenses as a way of demanding an end to laws prohibiting same-sex marriage — is expanding to South Carolina. On Jan. 17-18, three LGBT couples will request licenses in Greenville, S.C.
For two weeks in October, 20 same-sex couples applied for — and were refused — marriage licenses in Buncombe County. Their efforts culminated in a rally and an act of civil disobedience that led to an arrest. This WE DO campaign drew national attention and, in many ways, demonstrates a different approach to LGBT activism.