CHARLOTTE – Same-sex couples legally married in other states are being encouraged to start registering their documents in North Carolina courthouses.
It’s all part of a new statewide campaign by the Campaign for Southern Equality to draw attention to North Carolina’s ban on gay marriage.
The group says by creating a public record of their relationships, same-sex couples will highlight the reality that they are legally married in the eyes of the federal government, but not North Carolina.
The group’s executive director, the Rev. Jasmine Beach-Ferrara, says registering marriage licenses will create a public record that demonstrates the couples’ love and commitment.
The call comes one week after Buncombe County Register of Deeds Drew Reisinger became one of the first officials in the South to take marriage license applications from same-sex couples.http://chapelboro.com/news/state-government/same-sex-couples-plan-to-register-licenses-in-nc/
Courtesy of Getty Images
ALBUQUERQUE – The clerk for New Mexico’s most populous county planned to begin issuing marriage licenses to gay and lesbian couples today after a state district judge declared same-sex marriage legal.
State District Judge Alan Malott on Monday ruled New Mexico’s constitution prohibits discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, ordering BernalilloCounty to join the state’s other two population centers in recognizing the unions.
The decision comes on the heels of an order last week from a judge in Santa Fe that directed the county clerk there to begin issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples. That followed a decision by the clerk in the southern New Mexicocounty of Dona Ana to recognize same-sex couples.
But Malott’s ruling was seen as more sweeping than the temporary Santa Fe order because he directly declared that gay marriage was legal.http://chapelboro.com/news/national/nm-county-told-to-issue-same-sex-marriage-licenses/
Courtesy of Getty Images
MINNEAPOLIS – Marriage ceremonies started at midnight for gay couples in Minnesota, where same-sex marriage is now legal.
Minnesota officials estimate that about 5,000 gay couples will marry in the first year of the new law.
Laws legalizing same-sex marriage also took effect today in Rhode Island and the District of Columbia.http://chapelboro.com/news/national/gay-marriage-now-legal-in-mn-ri-and-dc/
Courtesy of Getty Images
DURHAM – Six same-sex North Carolina couples are speaking out not only against the state’s ban on gay marriage, but also on the rights for their children. According to a WRAL report, the American Civil Liberties Union says it will amend a federal law suit filed last year on behalf of those six couples where one partner wanted to adopt the other’s child.
The ACLU says it plans to launch a challenge to North Carolina’s ban on gay marriage, a ban solidified by an amendment to the state constitution that passed last year that prohibits the legal recognition of unions between same-sex couples.
The ACLU argues that marriage would provide same-sex couples a number of benefits for their children, including health insurance coverage if one parent lacks it, the permission of either parent to make medical decisions or to be by a child’s bedside if hospitalized, and the prevention from children being torn away from their home if something should happen to the biologically or legally recognized parent.
One of the couples in the 2012 lawsuit, Marcie and Chantelle Fisher-Borne, were legally married in Washington, D.C. in 2011 and currently live in Durham. The couple has two children, a five-year-old girl and a one-year-old boy, each carried by one of the two women. When their daughter was born, the couple met resistance from a hospital staff member who demanded their legal paperwork—the ACLU argues that encounters like this could be avoided if they were legally married in NC.
WCHL spoke with Chantelle to hear about how NC’s ban affects her family as well as other North Carolina families.
“Having marriage rights for same-sex couples is the best way to provide the safety net for our families, those of us who have kids,” she says.
Chantelle says having the original adoption rights case expand to include the ban on same-sex marriage is an important step, especially given the recent decision of the Supreme Court to declare DOMA unconstitutional.
“(With) lots of changes happening around the conversation of marriage rights, it was the perfect opportunity considering the changes in the laws,” Chantelle says.
And ultimately, Chantelle says she wants the same rights as any other parent who gave birth and raised a child.
“It directly affects any same-sex couple in North Carolina and many states across the US. Being a legal stranger to your kid who you’ve raised since they were born is disconcerting to say the least, and something we want to change,” says Chantelle.http://chapelboro.com/news/state-government/aclu-to-challenge-nc-gay-marriage-ban/