Same-sex couples to seek marriage license in Rowan this morning

Published 12:00 am Friday, November 22, 2013

Three same-sex couples will seek recognition of their relationships in Rowan County this morning as the “We Do” campaign continues across North Carolina.
Tamara Sheffield and Maryja Mee, together for 23 years, and Ashley Wilson and Victoria Moore, together for 13 years, will apply for marriage licenses at the Rowan County Register of Deeds Office.
Amendment One bans same-sex marriage.
Robert Lambrecht and Jon Planovsky, together for 30 years, also will seek to record their California marriage license at the Register of Deeds office, creating a public record of their marriage that is recognized by the federal government and 16 states, but not North Carolina.
The couples will ask the Register of Deeds Office to issue licenses at 10:30 a.m.
Rowan County is the 16th North Carolina county where lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) couples have taken action 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 in a news release.
On Oct. 15, the Buncombe County Register of Deeds office began accepting marriage license applications from same-sex couples. 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,” 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.”
The campaign already has been to Madison, Forsyth, Guilford, Henderson, Mecklenburg, Buncombe, Transylvania and Cabarrus counties.

The Campaign for Southern Equality is for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people’s rights.