The Campaign for Southern Equality launched its WE DO Campaign Oct. 3, through which same-sex couples will request marriage licenses from the Buncombe County Register of Deeds. The purpose of the campaign is to resist state laws that prohibit same-sex marriage, and to protest the proposed amendment to the North Carolina constitution that would ban marriage, civil unions and domestic partnerships for same-sex couples.
Buncombe Register of Deeds Drew Reisinger upheld state law Oct. 3 by denying a marriage license to a number of same-sex couples, including Rev. Kathryn Cartledge and Elizabeth Eve, her partner of 30 years. They were joined by a group of supporters including state House Rep. Patsy Keever and Asheville City Council member Gordon Smith, both of whom Reisinger supported in their respective elections. Later that day, Reisinger posted the following thoughts on his Facebook page:
A few years ago I decided to dive head-first into the world of politics, because I thought I could help make the world a better place. I wanted to do more than stand on a street corner in Boone holding up a protest sign.
I worked hard to help elect Barack Obama, Patsy Keever and Gordon Smith so that they could help move our country, our state and our city in the right direction … and they have. Now that I have become a public official, I find myself in a role that requires me to uphold the law of the state of North Carolina. While I am proud of what I have accomplished, there is more work to be done. Because today when I was asked to give a friend of mine, who happens to be gay, a marriage license, I had to deny her and her partner of 30 years the joy of marriage and it broke my heart.
In order to create change and be a part of a world that equally recognizes all people, regardless of race, religion or sexual orientation, we need to work hard to elect leaders who will stand up for equality.