PICS: Same-Sex Couples Apply For Marriage Licenses In Asheville - WSPA.com

PICS: Same-Sex Couples Apply For Marriage Licenses In Asheville

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Lines of same-sex couples were waiting at the Register of Deeds of office Tuesday morning. Lines of same-sex couples were waiting at the Register of Deeds of office Tuesday morning.
ASHEVILLE, N.C. -

More than 100 people showed up to support 18 same-sex couples who applied for marriage licenses Tuesday at the Buncombe Co Register of Deeds office.

However, the North Carolina Attorney General's Office says those licenses cannot be issued.

Previously, same-sex couples would be denied a marriage application in Buncombe County, but the register of deeds office accepted marriage applications starting early Tuesday morning.

Register of Deeds Drew Reisinger did not sign the application to accept them, but said he would send them to the state Attorney General's Office for review.

A spokesperson for N.C. Attorney General Roy Cooper responded later Tuesday morning saying "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."

The statement from Noelle Talley adds, "this very issue is the subject of pending litigation against the State of North Carolina."

"Same-sex couples in North Carolina are treated differently and have no benefits or protections," Reisinger said in a written statement concerning his request for a formal opinion from Cooper's office, "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."

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