MARION, N.C. — Keisha and Dericka Hollifield defied convention and North Carolina state law when they went to the McDowell County Register of Deeds’ office on July 22 to request a marriage license.

They left empty-handed, but fulfilled in their attempt to bring attention to the plight of gay and lesbian couples who are seeking recognition in a state that does not recognize same-sex marriage as part of the WE DO Campaign.

The Campaign for Southern Equality reported that the clerk refused to accept the application and refused to write “denied” on it as well.

Rev. Jasmine Beach-Ferrara, executive director of the Campaign for Southern Equality, lead a group of supporters who stood by the couple as they made the attempt to receive the license.

Outside, a contingency of more than 100 counter protesters held a rally with signs debunking marriage equality, BuzzFeed reported.

“I hope that what we did today can help my future children have a better life,” Dericka Hollifield said in a posting on the organization’s website . “I hope that no child has to encounter some of the struggles I have.”

BuzzFeed also reported on July 30 that the couple were married in Washington, D.C., on July 26. The ceremony was almost delayed when Keisha Hollifield was admitted into the hospital for emergency surgery the week prior. She said that no matter what that there was no better time to get married. To read more about their marriage, visit

The Campaign for Southern Equality is planning more WE DO actions across the South in the coming months in South Carolina, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi and Tennessee.


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Does your organization or special interest group have events or great information to share with our readers? If so, be sure to send in your information to In the upcoming months, we’ll feature one of you in our news notes section in each issue. Are you a part of a Meetup, Yahoo or Google group and do you do something that’s really newsworthy? Do you provide a service for the community or hold fundraisers for worthy causes? Do you educate the public about LGBT issues or concerns? Of course, this is only a sampling of things we are interested in. It’s the aim of these pieces to inform, enlighten and educate our readers about what we’re doing here in the Carolinas to champion LGBT rights, as well as offer resources for those who may be interested in what your group is doing.

Lainey Millen was formerly QNotes' associate editor, special assignments writer, N.C. and U.S./World News Notes columnist and production director from 2001-2019 when she retired.