CHARLOTTE, N.C. – A few same-sex couples will go to the Mecklenburg County Register of Deeds Wednesday morning to request marriage licenses. Gay marriage is banned in North Carolina.
“The reason we do it is to shed light on the indignities we face as same-sex couples because the government refuses to recognize our relationships,” said Scott Bishop, who plans to apply for a license with his partner of 16 years Wednesday, Ron Sperry.
Bishop, Sperry and other couples are supported by the Campaign for Southern Equality, which has encouraged gay couples to take similar actions across the state, with no results.
Tuesday afternoon, county Register of Deeds David Granberry indicated he wouldn’t grant the marriage licenses. Granberry suggested he was supportive of gay marriage efforts, but felt state law prohibited him from issuing the licenses.
County officials in other parts of the U.S. have faced similar challenges. In Pennsylvania, the Montgomery County Register of Wills is facing a lawsuit by the state for offering same-sex couples marriage licenses, violating that state’s ban.
“We're hoping someone in the south will be courageous enough to step forward and say ‘I believe this to be unconstitutional. I'm going to start issuing licenses,’" said Bishop.
Even though the measure failed in Mecklenburg County, North Carolina voters overwhelmingly passed a ban on gay marriage in May 2012.