Couples receive marriage licenses in Wake County on Friday, following a judge's ruling striking down North Carolina's anti-LGBT constitutional amendment. Photo Credit: Equality North Carolina.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — More than half of North Carolina counties have issued marriage licenses to same-gender couples, according to data compiled by Equality North Carolina’s Cape Fear affiliate.

Cape Fear Equality chair Ryan Burris and volunteers called all 100 county registers of deeds and asked them for the number of same-gender marriage licenses issued on Monday, the first full day LGBT couples could be legally married in the state.

They came back with a total of 379 licenses issued in 56 counties.

Some of the highest numbers came from Mecklenburg, Wake, Guilford and Buncombe counties.

In Charlotte, Mecklenburg County Register of Deeds J. David Granberry said a record had been set. By close of business, a total of 86 marriage licenses had been issued. The previous record in a single day was 63. At least 62 of the 86 licenses were issued to same-sex couples, of which 35 were married on Monday.

Equality North Carolina Communications Director Jen Jones said the numbers don’t include Friday totals, when registers of deeds offices in Buncombe, Guilford and Wake counties remained open late to process marriage licenses.

Jones also cautioned that the number is an estimate — with some counties reporting requiring several phone calls.

I don’t think it is guaranteed 100% accurate… but I think it’s safe the say the number is close, if not exact,” Jones said.

Staffers with the statewide LGBT equality group have also been monitoring alleged incidents of anti-LGBT marriage discrimination. Magistrates in some counties have refused to perform same-gender marriage ceremonies and some staffers in at least one county register of deeds office have said they don’t feel comfortable issuing licenses to same-gender couples.

Follow our continuing coverage as marriage equality comes to North Carolina…

Matt Comer previously served as editor from October 2007 through August 2015 and as a staff writer afterward in 2016.

4 replies on “LGBT marriage licenses issued in more than half of N.C. counties”

  1. If nothing else the clerks issuing the licenses may be having their first face-to-face with an openly gay person. I can only imagine their brains twisting around their old beliefs when none of the applicants showed up with horns or a tail. Although, this close to Halloween I would have been tempted.

  2. The Jackson County (western North Carolina) Register of Deeds office was helpful and gracious on Monday morning, even offering space for the first marriage to take place. Could not have asked for a nicer reception for the couple. Verified, equally graciously, the validity of our Maine marriage as now legal in NC. Good experience.

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