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.
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)
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.
Today, about 150 supporters of the WE DO campaign rallied in front of City Hall before marching down to the Buncombe County Register of Deeds, where 12 same-sex couples requested — and were denied — marriage licenses. In an act of civil disobedience, Kathryn Cartledge and her partner Elizabeth Eve, partners for 30 years, sat down and began reading rights given to heterosexual married couples until arrested and removed by Sheriff’s deputies. This post contains Twitter coverage from multiple sources from the rally and what followed.