Couples wait for their applications at the Buncombe County Register of Deeds. (Oct. 15, 2013/FOX Carolina)
ASHEVILLE, NC (FOX Carolina) -
The Buncombe County Register of Deeds said they will seek approval to grant same-sex marriages licenses.
Drew Reisinger of the Register of Deeds said he will accept and hold same-sex marriage applications starting Tuesday.
"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. "I have concerns about whether we are violating people's civil rights based on this summer's Supreme Court decision."
Reisinger said at least six same-sex couples would request marriage licenses on Tuesday. He said he would accept the applications but would withhold his own signature.
"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," Reisinger said.
A 2012 amendment to North Carolina's Constitution forbids same-sex couples from marrying. But Drew Reisinger said Tuesday he will issue the licenses and ask state Attorney General Roy Cooper for legal advice.
Reisinger's announcement came hours after Cooper revealed he supports same-sex marriage. But Cooper also said his personal views won't prevent him from defending North Carolina's ban in court.
A representative for Cooper released a statement on Monday night that said:
"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. This very issue is the subject of pending litigation against the State of North Carolina."
Many couples were lined up for the applications Tuesday morning. Reisinger said 11 couples have applied so far on the first day.
On Tuesday, Reisinger submitted a request for Cooper's formal opinion on the constitutionality of the same-sex marriage laws in the state.
Cooper responded by saying, "Unless the courts rule otherwise or North Carolina law is changed, issuance of a marriage license to a same-sex couple would be a violation of the law."
Copyright 2013 FOX Carolina (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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