Few same-sex couples show up to get marriage licenses in Northeastern North Carolina

Posted at 5:54 PM, Oct 13, 2014
and last updated 2014-10-13 17:54:06-04

The certificates were printed, and the Dare County clerks were ready.

"We are going to issue same sex marriages until they tell us not to!" Dare County Register of Deeds clerk Vanzolla McMurran-Smith told NewsChannel 3.

But on the first full day same-sex couples were able to get their marriage licenses, most clerks in Northeastern North Carolina had no one to give them to.

"I really am surprised. I thought they were going to be waiting at the door but we are ready," she said.

Even though it's Columbus Day, State Register officers were still open at courthouses.

"It is a federal holiday, so maybe some of the people think we might be closed. The girls out front say we have been getting phone calls asking if the office is open," McMurran-Smith said.

Just two couples across Northeastern North Carolina got their marriage licenses today. Both were from Pasquotank County.

But in Dare, Currituck, Chowan, Gates, Perquimans and Camden, not one same-sex couple registered.

"The girls were like, 'have you heard anything?' They thought Friday we were going to get them, but it didn't come. So I just knew there would be a big line. I got the new forms, but so far no people! Just waiting.  Like I got the new forms right so far no people! Just waiting," she said.

That waiting lasted all day, and even though no one showed up, the clerks were ready.   The new same-sex certificates don't list "male or female," instead they have "applicant and 2." They also have a box for the persons' sex.

On Friday, a federal judge lifted the ban on same-sex couples marrying in North Carolina. In other parts of the state, lines were long all day, but no where near what they were like in Northeastern North Carolina.