About 20 same-sex couples have been applying for marriage licenses at the Buncombe County Register of Deeds office this month. Today, the group turned up the heat with one of the couples, Rev. Kathryn Cartledge and partner Elizabeth Eves, refusing to leave after being denied their license. They were arrested for trespassing, but were shortly released on their own recognizance.
Nearly 200 supporters walked with the couples who ranged in age from 20 to 80 from Roger McGuire green to the Woodfin Street office. The crowd, filled with clergy of many denominations, waited outside as the couples walked up to the counter to be denied by Buncombe County Register of Deeds, Drew Reisinger.
The scene inside the office was almost surreal, as one same-sex couple after another came up to the desk, each greeted by Mr. Reisinger who inquired about their business today. Each couple presented appropriate identification which was examined before Mr. Reisinger apologized and explained that under current North Carolina law, he could not grant a marriage license. Meanwhile, a steady stream of dual-sex couples came in, got their licenses and left. There was no animosity, and everyone treated everyone else with the utmost respect.
The group, formed earlier this year out of The Campaign for Southern Equality says this is the last scheduled protest in Asheville this year. They plan to take the action to other NC cities next year.