An Act of Defiance in North Carolina

Despite a 2012 constitutional amendment prohibiting marriage equality, same-sex couples applied for marriage licenses in North Carolina as part of the Campaign for Southern Equality's We Do initiative. 

BY Lucas Grindley

October 05 2011 4:49 PM ET

The three couples — Rev. Kathryn Cartledge and Elizabeth Eve, Autumn Trama and Amanda McKenzie, and Loraine Allen and Amanda Hilty — are part of the We Do campaign from the Campaign for Southern Equality. All of them had been together for many years but were turned away because North Carolina already bans same-sex couples from getting married.

Gay rights activists have been making the point that the North Carolina ballot initiative goes much further than existing law and bans recognition of things like civil unions and domestic partnerships. But these couples, backed by a parade of supporters, were there to make a statement in favor of marriage equality.

WE DO Campaign in Asheville procession x560 (provided) | ADVOCATE.COM

The three couples who applied on Monday were the first of many to come. The We Do campaign has had couples applying for licenses all week long.ASHEVILLE NORTH CAROLINA MARRIAGE LICENSES 560x (COURTESY) ADVOCATE.COMBeing turned away didn't come as a surprise. “The issue here is that North Carolina laws do not treat people equally, even though we are all equal children of God. The couples taking part in the We Do Campaign are doing so as an act of conscience, an act of faith, saying these laws are immoral and unjust and they must change,” said Jasmine Beach‐Ferrara, executive director for the Campaign for Southern Equality in a statement about the protest.WE DO Campaign in Asheville DENIED 01 x560 (provided) | ADVOCATE.COMCartledge and Eve have been together for 30 years. But they were among the three couples denied a license on Monday at the Buncombe County Register of Deeds Office. WE DO Campaign in Asheville DENIED 02 x560 (provided) | ADVOCATE.COM

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