Greensboro, NC official: I look forward to the day I can issue marriage licenses
September 19, 2013
On Monday, September 16, two loving couples, Cheryl & Tracey Bridges and Shela Williams & Deborah Wade, visited the Guilford County Register of Deeds in Greensboro, North Carolina to apply for a marriage license as part of an action by the Campaign for Southern Equality's We Do campaign.
The register of deeds, Jeff Thigpen, denied the couples the marriage licenses, citing state law, but he explained that he regretted having to follow the law. He said, "I really do appreciate and applaud these couples because they’re just trying to take care of their families. And it’s very clear to me that they love each other and they want to spend the rest of their lives with each other."
Later, Thigpen issued a statement explaining that he is excited for the day he can legally issue a marriage license in North Carolina. He said:
I believe LGBT couples and families will soon achieve full marriage equality in North Carolina and look forward to the day when I will be able to issue marriage licenses to LGBT couples.
I want to applaud the couples for having the courage and commitment to stand up for their families. These couples are like those I see every day. They love each other and want to commit their lives to one another in front of their family and friends in their home state of North Carolina. They don't want to change the institution of marriage; they want to join it by making lifelong promises of commitment and devotion to one another.
These couples chose to come to the Guilford County Register of Deeds on Monday, September 16 - my daughter Elle's birthday. Elle turns 10 years old today. She's a bright and energetic young girl. I have no idea who she will ultimately choose to sepdn the rest of her life with one day. As a father, I want her to be loved, appreciated and cared for. I want her to take marriage seriously, along with the fidelity and commitment. And selfishly, I want to make the world's greatest father/daughter dance video at her wedding!
I have no idea if she will be straight or gay. I just hope and pray she'd live in an America that did two things: uphold what is at the heart of all of our values as people - that we'd want to treat each other the way we'd want to be treated. In addition, we'd uphold a central value of who we are as a nation: that we are all created equal. That's what I want for Elle. Cheryl, Tracey, Shela, and Debora deserve that, too.