WNC religious leaders seek the right to wed same-sex couples in their congregati­ons

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.

Reisinger first register of deeds in South to accept same-sex marriage licenses

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.

On second thought: Commission­ers approve discrimina­tion ban, will need additional vote

After hearing more than 40 minutes of public comment on the matter, commissioners voted 4-3 to add language that protects Buncombe County workers from harassment based on sexual orientation to the personnel ordinance. Above, Executive Director of the Campaign for Southern Equality Jasmine Beach-Ferrara smiles after speaking in favor of the expansion of the county’s nondiscrimination statement.  (Photo by Caitlin Byrd)

Misreprese­nted by Molton

A recent Mountain Xpress cartoon stated that I voted against protection of LGBT rights [Molton, Sept. 5]. On Aug. 7, I voted for an amendment to Buncombe County's personnel policy supporting the rights of LGBT employees. After the majority of the Board of Commissioners voted against this amendment, the unamended policy that passed required a […]

Walk a mile in my Oxfords

I would like to thank commissioner candidate Joe Belcher for reminding us that Christians are a discriminated class of people in this country [“Who's Protected?” Aug. 29, Xpress]. I sympathize with the LGBT community but they need to remember that life could be worse; imagine if you were a white, rich, middle-aged, Republican, Christian man […]

Gantt’s views on workplace equality were misconstru­ed

I read a puzzling comment from Tim Peck on the Aug. 21 online article, "Commissioners Approve Personnel Ordinance, Reject LGBT Protections (see the article and comment at http://avl.mx/ji). I think it’s important that people understand Chairman David Gantt’s position at Tuesday’s Buncombe County Board of Commissioners meeting. My understanding is that the motion put before […]

Commission­ers likely followed law, but questions remain after release of vague documentat­ion

During its last meeting, the Buncombe County Board of Commissioners voted unanimously to go in to a closed session to discuss several matters, including an amendment to change the county’s personnel ordinance to ban discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity. Several prominent observers have since raised questions over the legality of discussing the amendment in a closed session before the vote.