Same-sex marriage applicants test NC county

An official in western North Carolina has accepted a marriage license request from a same sex couple.
October 15, 2013 3:23:44 PM PDT
An official in western North Carolina has accepted a marriage license request from a same sex couple.

Buncombe County Register of Deeds Drew Reisinger on Tuesday morning accepted the request from Brenda Clark and Carol McCrory. They say they've been together for 25 years.

McCrory praised Reisinger for his courage in accepting their marriage license request. He says he'll accept the license request and send it to the office of North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper.

Reisinger says he thinks the state's ban on same-sex marriage is unconstitutional, but he is only accepting the marriage license requests not signing them.

He's asking for an official opinion from Cooper on the constitutionality of the state's gay marriage ban.

Reisinger said he was encouraged by Cooper's newly-announced support for marriage equality.

"To be honest, it gave us a shred of hope that he might allow us to grant same sex marriage license," said Reisinger. "We also understand he's in a tight spot too to uphold the law of North Carolina."

In statement, the attorney general's office confirmed to ABC11 Cooper will deny the same-sex marriage requests. It says, "The state constitution says that these marriage licenses cannot be issued and this is the law unless the constitution is changed or the court says otherwise."

Click here to see a letter from the attorney general's office to Reisinger. (pdf)

Cooper has all but formally announced a run for governor in 2016.

Gay rights advocates say that his support for gay marriage and the news out of Buncombe County are small steps toward marriage equality.

Social conservatives, however, strongly disagree. Some are questioning Cooper's impartiality.

See It On TV | Report A Typo |  Send Tip |  Get Alerts | Send us photos
Follow @abc11 on Twitter  |  Become a fan on Facebook