NC Candidate to Sign Same-Sex Marriage Licenses
The apparent winner of a register of deeds seat in North Carolina says he’ll sign same-sex marriage licenses despite a state ban against gay unions.
Former Carrboro Mayor Mark Chilton narrowly won a Democratic primary Tuesday for the Orange County register of deeds and it appears that he will have no opposition in the general election in November.
Chilton said he doesn’t see how North Carolina’s law banning gay marriage will survive constitutional analysis, especially since federal courts have ruled against similar bans in other states.
"The upshot of all those is that if a state statute or a state constitutional provision or even a federal statute is written and has no purpose other than to put down, to denigrate politically unpopular groups, such as gays and lesbians, then it is unconstitutional," Chilton said, adding that the oath of office he’ll have to take says he must abide by the U.S. Constitution in spite of state law.
"So that’s what I’m going to do," he said.
Chilton is not alone in his stance. In October, the register of deeds for Buncombe County in western North Carolina, Drew Reisinger, became one of the first officials in the South to accept marriage-license applications from same-sex couples. At the time, he said he believed the state ban on same-sex marriage was unconstitutional. State officials have said his office can’t issue the licenses.