In response to North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper's announcement over the weekend that he personally supports marriage equality, the Buncombe County Register of Deeds (Asheville) Drew Reisinger (pictured), says he will accept marriage license applications from same-sex couples tomorrow and seek Cooper's official opinion.
“I will let each couple know that it is my hope to grant them a license, but I need to seek the North Carolina Attorney General’s approval,” Reisinger said in a release. “I have concerns about whether we are violating people’s civil rights based on this summer’s Supreme Court decision.”
Reisinger will accept the license applications but withhold his own signature pending an opinion from state Attorney General Roy Cooper.
Reisinger added, “I will then let the Attorney General know that I would like to issue these couples licenses, but that I need his clarification on the laws of the state that seem to contradict the equal protection clause of the U.S. Constitution.”
Cooper’s office issued a brief statement Monday night in response to Reisinger’s announcement, pointing out that the state constitution prohibits anyone from issuing licenses to same sex couples.
“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,” said Noelle Talley, a spokeswoman for Cooper’s office. “This very issue is the subject of pending litigation against the State of North Carolina.”
At least six gay couples will apply for licenses tomorrow at Reisinger's office, according to the Campaign for Southern Equality.
Two years ago this week, 18 gay couples pursued marriage licenses at the Buncombe County Register of Deeds Offices and were denied. Check out those efforts HERE.
We previously met Jack Andraka, the 16-year-old openly gay wunderkind who has developed a ground-breaking new way to detect the early stages of pancreatic, ovarian, and lung cancer.
This week's episode of 60 Minutes featured a fascinating look into the Maryland teen's journey from small-town science buff to internationally renowned innovator. This kid is going to revolutionize science, and he knows it.
Check out the story of this boy wonder, AFTER THE JUMP...
To promote a new documentary on Felix Baumgartner's record-setting edge-of-space skydiving jump that broke the speed of sound one year ago, Red Bull has released a full video of his jump captured from multiple angles.
Relive the big plunge, AFTER THE JUMP...
Indiana's first openly gay countywide official, Zach Adamson, will be making history once again, announcing that he and longtime partner Christian Mosburg will be heading to D.C. this week to get married. Indianapolis Star has the story:
Like any couple on the verge of marriage, they're excited about taking their vows. But they also hope that marriages like theirs can help to further break down the stereotypes and biases that have discriminated against gay individuals and couples for so long.
"It's important that people see this doesn't have to be the wedge issue or the divisive issue that it is often portrayed as," said Adamson, a 42-year-old first-term Democratic councilman. "We are just doing what other people do."
Adamson said the positive reception they've received, and the opportunity to get married, "just speaks to how far we've come." It's indeed a reminder of how much things have changed in a relatively short period of time.
GOP leaders in the state, however, have been immune to these changes, continuing to push for a state constitutional amendment banning gay marriage on the November 2014 ballot. Polls have already shown Hoosiers are strongly opposed to the amendment proposal, with many, including Adamson and Mosburg, seeing it as an issue of common decency.
"Putting a group of people's civil rights and self-worth up to a vote of their fellow citizens has a very deep and entrenched impact on a human being," Adamson said.
Mosburg said in a more perfect scenario their wedding would be taking place in Indiana. State law, however, already prohibits same-sex marriages, so the couple will have to make do with a follow-up ceremony in Indianapolis.
"This is where we live," he said. "This is where we've put our home base. This is where most of our friends are. You should be able to say that the place you've chosen to be your home is your home for everything."
And one day, it will be.
News of their filthy trick was revealed last week but Rep. Chris van Hollen (D-MD) posted this over the weekend explaining how the House Republicans guaranteed a shutdown .
Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...
Writes Joan McCarter at DailyKos:
The Republicans were resolved to up-end the standing rules of the House, to completely strip the minority of any rights. They were resolved to shut down the government. That's House Republican leadership at work. No tea party member was forcing Republican Speaker John Boehner and Eric Cantor and Pete Sessions to change this rule. Probably no tea party member knows House rules well enough to know this one even existed in the first place.
So-called establishment Republicans wanted this shut down just as much as the extremists, and they're the ones who made it happen. They're the ones who are continuing it, and they're the ones who are threatening the economic stability of the country.
Chicago City Alderman James Cappelman and his partner Richard have been together for more than two decades. But after waiting anxiously for Illinois to legalize marriage equality, and in light of the disappointing stop-and-start progress of an equal marriage bill over the last year, the couple is heading to Washington state to tie the knot. The Chicago Tribune has the story:
"We are going to go elsewhere," said Ald. James Cappleman, 46th. "It's kind of sad that a Chicago alderman, an elected official, has to leave his own state. But we'll keep fighting. There's a lot of people who want to get married."
Cappleman and Richard Thale, who met in church, have been together for 22 years. The plan to get married Nov. 22, surrounded by relatives who live out West. The couple already have a civil union in Illinois.
Cappleman is a social worker and longtime community activist in his first term. Thale is the courts advocate for the Town Hall Police District, a Chicago Alternative Policing Strategy beat facilitator and president of the Uptown Chicago Commission.
Cappleman said he first spilled the beans Tuesday night on CLTV's "Politics Tonight" show when asked what it was like to be an alderman and gay. He later posted his plans on Facebook.
The alderman told the Tribune his decision was based in large part on the Supreme Court's June decision invalidating Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act. "Should something happen to either one of us," he wrote in a Facebook post, "we didn't want to take the risk of losing those federal protections that other married couples already have."
Cappleman isn't the other city politician forced to travel outside Illinois to get married: his colleague Deb Mell wed her partner in Iowa.
LGBT advocates in Illinois are pursuing two parallel tracks in their quest for equal marriage rights in the state. Legislators will seek to pass a marriage equality bill in the veto session this fall, and former state Republican party chair Pat Brady--who resigned after criticism from his own party for his support of same-sex couples' right to marry--is helping the ACLU of Illinois convince GOP lawmakers to back the legislation.
The other track towards marriage equality in Illinois is taking place in the courts. Late last month, a state judge rejected motions to dismiss two court cases challenging the state's policy of providing only civil unions and not marriage to same-sex couples. Lambda Legal and the ACLU, who are sponsoring the two cases, are now pressing forward to win a positive ruling from Cook County Circuit Court Judge Sophia Hall that brings marriage equality to the Land of Lincoln.