Gay couple to apply for marriage license in Salisbury

Published 12:00 am Thursday, November 21, 2013

Two women will apply for a marriage license in Salisbury on Friday morning, according to a press release.

Here is the statement from the Southern Campaign for Equality:

ASHEVILLE — On November 22 at 10:30 a.m., Tamara Sheffield and Maryja Mee, a same-sex couple from Rowan County, will seek a marriage license at the Rowan County Register of Deeds Office as the WE DO Campaign continues to grow across North Carolina. The couple will ask the Rowan 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. Rowan County marks the 16th North Carolina county where LGBT couples have taken action through the WE DO Campaign to call for full equality under the law.

“Our goal today is to let everyone know we are no different than any other couple in Rowan County. We are requesting a marriage license today to give people an opportunity to make a personal connection” to the issue of same-sex marriage, said Sheffield and Mee.

On October 15, 2013 the Buncombe County Register of Deeds office began accepting marriage license applications from same-sex couples participating in the WE DO Campaign. In a formal request to Attorney General Roy Cooper requesting permission to legally issue marriage licenses to these same-sex couples, Drew Reisinger, Buncombe County Register of Deeds, has asked, “Why are we denying same-sex couples in North Carolina the dignity and the legal acknowledgment granted to heterosexual couples here or same-sex couples in other states?”

“Amendment One is immoral, unconstitutional and harmful to real people across North Carolina. We will keep taking action with the WE DO Campaign across North Carolina until this law changes,” says Rev. Jasmine Beach-Ferrara, Executive Director of the Campaign for Southern Equality. “Tamara and Maryja will request a marriage license because they have a fundamental right to marry. In this spirit, we pray that the Rowan County Register of Deeds office will choose to issue them a license and recognize their equality and dignity.”

An Elon poll from September shows that support for gay marriage in NC is growing rapidly and that 68 percent of voters under the age of 30 support marriage rights for same-sex couples: North Carolina has 27,250 same-sex domestic partners according to 2011 data from the U.S. Census Bureau. The federal government and 16 states now recognize same-sex marriage.

Launched in 2011 as an initiative of the Campaign for Southern Equality, the WE DO Campaign has involved more than 95 lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) couples’ requesting marriage licenses in their hometowns across the South to call for full equality. Since August, LGBT couples in North Carolina have applied for marriage licenses in their hometowns on the following dates:

August 21: Madison County 

August 30: Forsyth County 

September 16: Guilford County

October 2: Henderson County 

October 9: Mecklenburg County 

October 15: Buncombe County 

November 1: Transylvania County

November 4: Cabarrus County