ASHEVILLE, N.C., Oct. 15 (UPI) -- The Buncombe County, N.C., register of deeds accepted 10 marriage applications from same-sex couples Tuesday, saying he hoped he could grant licenses.
The couples requested the licenses from registrar Drew Reisinger as part of an effort organized by the Campaign for Southern Equality, the (Asheville, N.C.) Mountain Xpress reported. The newspaper added Reisinger is the first deeds registrar in the South to accept same-sex marriage licenses.
Instead of regretfully refusing the applications as in the past, Reisinger, on record as supporting same-sex marriages, accepted the documentation of the applicants and said he will ask state Attorney General Roy Cooper to allow the marriages to proceed.
"It seems that y'all qualify for every reason under the law except sexual orientation," Reisinger said. "I took an oath to uphold North Carolina's Constitution. I also took an oath to uphold the U.S. Constitution, which demands equal rights for all people. My hope is that he [Cooper] will allow me permission to grant you this license."
Although Cooper announced his support of same-sex marriage last week, he said he is still committed to defending the state ban in court as part of his official duties.