Same-sex Marriage Applications Accepted
UPDATE: 5 P.M. - Sherrill Barber
The Buncombe County Register of Deeds allows same-sex couples to make applications for marriage licenses.
Drew Reisinger told gay couples today hes only allowing gay couples to apply for marriage licenses. No one in that group was issued one today. Reisinger has not received permission from the state Attorney Generals office to issue marriage licenses to gay couples.
North Carolina voters approved the Defense of Marriage Act. It restricts marriage to a union of one man and one woman. But the U.S. Supreme Court struck that law down.
Same-sex couples told us allowing them to at least make the application, is a step forward. Reisinger says he will hold the applications until the Attorney General permits the licenses. The Attorney Generals office tells us the state constitution does not allow these marriages, and that is the law unless the constitution is changed or the courts say otherwise.
UPDATE: 11AM, from Buncombe County Register of Deeds, Drew Reisinger -
Register of Deeds Drew Reisinger has submitted a request for Attorney General Roy Cooper's formal opinion on the constitutionality of North Carolina Same-Sex Marriage Ban. This action follows Reisinger's move to accept and hold marriage applications from 11 same-sex couples who have applied so far today in Buncombe County.
Same-sex couples in North Carolina are treated differently and have no benefits or protections," Reisinger said, "while heterosexual couples in the state and same-sex couples married in other states have their marriages recognized and receive federal marriage benefits. This feels unjust."
I understand that the Attorney General will uphold state law, however I am not sure this is a black and white issue under state and federal law, Reisinger said. "That's why I am asking for his interpretations as the chief legal adviser for our state."
In the formal request for opinion, Reisinger asked for interpretation of the implications of the Supreme Court case on North Carolinas same sex marriage ban. Reisinger also inquired about whether equal protection under the North Carolina Constitution creates an internal conflict with the constitutional ban on same-sex partnerships.
Click here to read the formal request.
(AP) - When Buncombe County Register of Deeds Drew Reisinger opens the door Tuesday, he expects to see same-sex couples waiting outside his office to apply for marriage licenses.
Unlike in the past, Reisinger plans to accept the applications and then seek an opinion from North Carolina's top lawyer.
A 2012 amendment to North Carolina's Constitution forbids same-sex couples from marrying.
But Reisinger says he will hold the licenses and then ask state Attorney General Roy Cooper for legal advice.
The initial word from the attorney general's office was that he cannot legally grant the licenses.
The Campaign for Southern Equality has been leading the fight for same sex marriage.
Group spokesman Aaron Sarver says at least six same-sex couples will request marriage licenses Tuesday from Reisinger's office.