CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Monday morning, seven same-sex couples offered up a toast to their new marriages at the Holy Covenant United Church of Christ. The couples just returned from a weekend trip to Washington, D.C., where they were legally married.
However, because of the Federal Defense of Marriage Act, individual states -- including North Carolina, do not have to recognize same-sex marriages performed in other states. Reverend Robin Tanner with Piedmont Unitarian Universalist Church says she hopes that lawmakers pass a pro-gay marriage law for North Carolina.
"[Gay] marriage isn't recognized here," said Tanner. "Should the law ever change, then these couples would be in a position though to have their marriages recognized in North Carolina."
Tanner says she believes the Federal Defense of Marriage Act is unconstitutional.
"I don't know whose marriage [the FDOMA] is defending. It is the first time that we are legislating discrimination in many years," she said.
Those that support traditional marriage between a man and a woman say same-sex marriage goes against the principals our society was built upon, and against what is written in the Bible. However, the couples married over the weekend argue they should have the same basic rights as their heterosexual counterparts.
"I know that when I met my partner, my life changed. It changed for the better," said Myra Diuguid, who was married to her partner of more than two decades.
"I think, having had a relationship for many years-- more than 25-- this weekend was about the dignity; about being recognized as a whole person," said Glenn, another person married over the weekend, who didn't want to give his last name.
Clergy and members of Temple Beth El, Piedmont Unitarian Universalist Church and Holy Covenant United Church of Christ attended the ceremony in Washington, D.C.