Drew Reisinger, Buncombe County’s Register of Deeds, made good on his pledge Tuesday to begin accepting applications from same-sex couples requesting marriage licenses. Reisinger plans to hold the applications from 11 same-sex couples while he seeks a formal opinion on the constitutionality of the state’s same-sex marriage ban from North Carolina’s Attorney General.
“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.”
Reisinger has formally asked the Attorney General to give his legal opinion on the following points:
1. Under the precedent created by the Windsor decision by the US Supreme Court, does our current practice of treating North Carolina same sex couples differently than both straight couples in North Carolina and same sex couples married outside of the state violate the federal and North Carolina Equal Protection constitutional clauses?
2. Under Windsor and the US Equal Protection Clause, can I, and Registers of Deeds across North Carolina, begin to provide marriage licenses to same sex couples in North Carolina?
3. Does Section 6, Article XIV of the North Carolina Constitution violate state and federal equal protection requirements?
Click here to read Reisinger’s formal request for the Attorney General’s opinion on the ban.
Cooper has previously said the he personally supports marriage equality, but will defend North Carolina’s ban.