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Equality NC Wedding Registry

With marriage equality now the law of the land in North Carolina and across the nation, NOW is the time to invest in Equality!

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The Equality NC Wedding Registry is an easy way for LGBT and allied couples who are getting married to contribute greatly to our overall fight for equality (and encourage others to as well.) Over the years, many couples have already requested that in lieu of gifts, people celebrate their nuptials by donating to a charity near and dear to their hearts: Equality NC.

For more information, to submit your story to our registry (and get exciting ENC swag as a wedding gift!), or to arrange a gift to Equality NC, please contact Shawn@equalitync.org.

Honor a couple by making a donation in their name on Equality NC's Wedding Registry, or join other couples by registering your wedding with Equality NC.

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A Sampling of Our Couples

The Twice Wed Wives, Karen and Michelle

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Karen and Michelle at their first wedding, and Michelle and Karen at their second, NC-legal wedding.

Michelle and Karen are one of those couples who met via the Internet - and it worked! Michelle lived an hour away from Karen but they decided to take a chance anyway. They began emailing in December 2010, met in person in January 2011, and by February 2012 decided that yes, they loved each other and they were committed to being together even if they didn't know where they were going to live. Karen and Michelle bought each other rings, and in May 2012 Michelle put her house on the market. Amazing things began to happen! Michelle found a job in the same city where Karen lived and a perfect townhouse came on the market that fit their needs. By October 2012 they had finally found home together. In Spring 2013 they decided to get married. Karen likes long-term planning so they set a date for April 12, 2014. Karen and Michelle chose to get married at their church, the Unitarian Universalist Church of Greensboro, because their church family was incredibly important to them. They were supported, loved, and celebrated at their wedding and fully recognized as married within their faith community. Six-months later, the inconceivable happened and NC's anti-marriage amendment was overturned, and they spontaneously got married again, legally.

Enjoy the full story. Read how the wives first wed here, "Getting married, the first time (to the same person)."

Then read about their second wedding, in the new-to-NC #MarriageEquality era here, "Getting married, the second time (to the same person)."

Finally, join them in supporting Equality NC's efforts to protect full marriage equality for all by making a donation to Equality NC! (Remember to check the "In honor/memory of" box, the "in honor of" button, and include "Karen and Michelle" on the honor line.)

The Marriage of Jeff and Kate

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Jeff and Kate were both new to Washington, D.C. in the summer of 2009 when they first met. Jeff managed a bike shop in Adams Morgan, and one day, Kate went to buy a bike that would become her main mode of transportation around the city. Jeff sold Kate the bike, and Kate returned to buy MULTIPLE accessories over the course of a couple weeks. They began dating, fell in love, and eventually moved to Carrboro, NC together where Kate attended graduate school and Jeff worked for Performance Bike.

"Cycling and many other qualities drew us together, but one of them was our shared passion for equality. We are grateful for the opportunity we had to make a public commitment to each other in the form of marriage this summer, and want to live in a state where all couples in love have the right to marry and all families are treated equally. And we want this NOW! Love is love, and we love you all!"

Join them in supporting marriage equality for all by making a donation to Equality NC! (Remember to check the "In honor/memory of" box, the "in honor of" button, and include "Jeff and Kate" on the honor line.)

The Love Story of Dee Dee and Victoria

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My wife, Dee Dee and I met in 2003 in a rural town in the foothills of the Appalachian mountains where we both worked for the small community hospital. Our first chats were loaded with excitement and electricity, something I had never experienced with anyone. We weren't looking for anything other than friendship so we kept our attraction to each other under restriction. Then she moved to Arizona to be closer to her mother and we didn't talk much anymore.

After two years, on a December night, I heard her voice on my answering machine telling me how much she missed me. My heart sank because it was the first time I had allowed myself to feel how much I missed her too. I called her back that night and we stayed on the phone all night. I was a single mom at the time with three children, so a long distance relationship was hard. We managed to see each other a couple of times a year for the next few years until I finally moved to Arizona in 2009 by myself.

After a little over a year, the distance away from my kids was proving to be too hard for me. I lived back and forth between AZ and NC for the next span of years because my children didn't want to move. The emptiness in our hearts when Dee Dee and I were apart got so hard to bear. We knew there was no one else with whom we wanted to share our lives but couldn't find a way to blend them at that time. In 2013, with the support of my oldest daughter, Kylee, who now lived with me in High Point, and despite fears of more rejection from my younger kids who still lived with their dad, I decided now was the time. So in June that year, after Dee Dee had shoulder surgery, I flew to AZ. I was on the phone with her as I was driving from the airport to her house while she thought I was at work in NC. A few minutes later, I knocked on her door. We packed what we could and she flew back to NC to live with me.

While in California for vacation in San Diego, on August 11, we openly expressed our dedication, love and desire to live with each other for the rest of our lives. We were encircled in love by our closest friends, her family, and my daughter. Today we are living in NC and are expecting our own little miracle in July this year. We have struggled to keep our lives together at times when we couldn't be together and now we know that despite the legal issues surrounding our marriage, we are not alone and nothing can take away our love for each other!

Join them in supporting marriage equality for all by making a donation to Equality NC! (Remember to check the "In honor/memory of" box, the "in honor of" button, and include "Dee Dee and Victoria" on the honor line.)

The Wedding of Kate and David

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Kate and David met six years ago in Washington, DC, where they both moved after college to do AmeriCorps. They lived in DC for five years, fell in love, got engaged on the lawn of the Capitol, and then moved back to North Carolina for Kate to start graduate school. They are dedicated to making their new home state a place that is welcoming and supportive of all people, which is why they support Equality NC!

Kate and David are getting married at a dairy farm (an homage to Kate's Wisconsin roots) in Chapel Hill on August 2, 2014.

Join them in supporting marriage equality for all by making a donation to Equality NC!

(Remember to check the "In honor/memory of" box, the "in honor of" button, and include "Kate and David" on the honor line.)

The Marriage of Dina and Diane

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Dina and Diane met for the first time when they both started new jobs at a large banking organization in Winston-Salem, NC in December, 1988. After many attempts to strike up a friendship by Dina, Diane finally realized Dina was someone that would be fun to hang out with. When Dina decided to move back to Raleigh from Winston-Salem after just 7 months, they both realized their relationship was more than just friendship. Diane followed Dina to Raleigh, and now, 24 years later, they were finally, legally married in Washington, DC on March 21, 2014 in Bishop's Garden at The National Cathedral. On April 19, 2014, surrounded by many friends and family, they were married at The Willow Garden at Fearrington Village with a reception following in The Barn. Dina and Diane were honored to have Jimmy Creech officiate their NC ceremony.

"The importance of standing up in front of friends and family to express our love and commitment to each other was more powerful than we ever imagined. The love and support we have felt from friends and family has been overwhelming. It is our hope that all couples can feel the support that we have from having our wedding in such a public way. Being legally married makes our relationship real in others' eyes and lets everyone know that we are just like any other couple. Being madly in love after 24 years, weathering the ups and downs of any long-term relationship, and being committed to making it work deserves the same recognition as straight couples. This is why we support Marriage Equality."

Please make donations in their honor by clicking here. (Just be sure to check the box for "in honor of" and put "Dina and Diane.")

The Wedding of Jason and Eva

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Jason and Eva share a love of music (especially brass instruments!), enjoyment of running and the outdoors, and a commitment to marriage equality. We tied the legal knot in Portland, Maine on Dec. 30, 2013 at City Hall, resisting the temptation to apply for a fishing license at the same time. We chose to obtain our legal marriage documents in a state where such protections and recognitions are afforded to all. Many Portland residents we met asked us why on earth we would leave North Carolina to visit Maine in December, and when we told them we'd come to Maine to get married in part due to it being a marriage equality state, we received an incredibly warm welcome. Everyone we met, regardless of occupation, station in life, background, etc. seemed to think it obvious that marriage must be open to all, and felt a great deal of pride in their state as a leader in civil rights.

We look forward with great hope to the day when all of our loved ones can legally marry in their home states. We joyfully celebrated our ceremonial wedding in downtown Raleigh with friends and family in April 2014, though our minds were still on the important work left to be done. We would be truly honored if our families and friends would consider supporting Equality NC's efforts to make North Carolina known as an open and supportive state that welcomes and loves all.

Please make donations in their honor by clicking here. (Just be sure to check the box for "in honor of" and put "Jason and Eva.")

The Marriage of Sue and Val

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Susan Atlas and Valorie Nybo met through a fluke of programming on the Internet while both were in their late fifties. (Yes, there is love and romance after 50.) Val was living in North Carolina and working as a Professor at Western Carolina University. Sue was in her second year of school at the Tai Sophia Institute in Maryland. They both put profiles on Internet sites to meet people. Val had a requirement that she wanted to hear from people within 200 miles. Sue's requirement was within 50 miles. Nevertheless, Val got sent Sue's profile. She liked that Sue was an acupuncturist and a witch. Sue was impressed with Val's medals from the Senior Olympics, and thought she was very attractive. They were 600 miles apart.

They started emailing a lot, had much in common, but decided to just be friends due to the distance. They began talking on the phone regularly. Sue started dating a woman from Pennsylvania, but that was not going very well so Sue called Val for advice. Val realized she didn't want Sue to be with that other woman and instead wanted to meet. Val had a list she made with her therapist of 25 things she wanted in a partner – Sue had 24 of them.

They made plans for Val to come up the first weekend in May. Sue told her that if they hit it off, that was fine; otherwise there was room (not much) on the living room floor. Sue was at a retreat with her school class, so Val came to pick her up near Charlottesville.

They pretty much fell into each other's arms. Val brought chocolate turtles from the Chocolate Factory, but she couldn't resist them and ate two on her way up the road. They were wonderful – she has good taste.

They’ve had a busy nine years, dealing with Val's parents losing their home in Katrina, house repairs, getting two rescue dogs, Zen and Zena, starting a business, visiting families, the births of three grandchildren, and dealing with illness.

They’d been talking about getting married for years, and Val has even proposed to Sue several times. The answer was always yes, but they just didn't believe it would ever happen. They got married during a holiday visit to family in Massachusetts. They arranged for a Justice of the Peace and applied for the license, and on New Year's Eve they went to her (the Justice of the Peace's) house for the ceremony. The family came along. It was lovely, better than expected, and special because it was a real, legal marriage and supported by their families.

They are in the midst of planning their actual ceremony and reception, which will take place April 19, 2014 at the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Franklin, where they are active members. Family are coming from out of town, and together with many friends in the area, they should have a wonderful party! Their web page is: http://olivia.honeymoonwishes.com/SusanAndValorie

“We feel strongly about getting full civil rights in NC and all states for LGBT people, and are asking wedding guests, and anyone else who wants to do so, to donate to Equality NC in our honor.”

The Wedding of Shawn and Derrick Brooks

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We [Shawn and Derrick Brooks, center left and right, of Durham, NC] traveled to Delaware to be legally married on March 1, 2014. A black tie reception was at the Hilton Christiana where 150 family members and friends attended. We dedicated part of our ceremony to all couples who don't have marriage equality, especially in NC. It was a magical evening - something we will never forget. Our hope is that all couples everywhere will have marriage equality and will experience the overwhelming love and support that we have.

The Wedding of Frank and Gary (FrankandGary)

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Frank and Gary have been so close for 50 years that friends and family know them by one name: FrankandGary. On January 23, they were legally united in a simple wedding in the meeting room of the snazzy Bar American in New York.

After two dizzying days of being wined and dined out on the town with 22 other opera lovers from Winston-Salem, a dream they never dreamed would come true did, in fact, come true.

When they signed up for the Piedmont Opera trip, two of their opera friends, Judy and Catherine, suggested they get married while in New York with the friends as witnesses.

They all went to Raleigh to catch an American Airlines plane that flew them through the blinding “polar vortex” to LaGuardia. Then came a three-hour bus ride through snow-clogged streets, but they finally reached their hotel in Manhattan. They barely had time to change for dinner and the first opera, where at intermission they got a good look at the Metropolitan Opera’s phenomenal backstage.

The next morning the subway helped them avoid the icy streets and they were second in line at City Hall, where they quickly got a license. The wind chill was minus 10, but the “rehearsal lunch” at The Aureole restaurant was warm with toasts and tributes and complimentary champagne. An evening at the award-winning musical “Kinky Boots” concluded with an invitation backstage.

The wedding day dawned cold, but by noon everyone made it to Bar Americain for lunch, and then came the wedding itself. The officiant was Cynde Horn, a reporter for PBS and a friend who had been active with FrankandGary in the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force. Her brief homily spoke of her pleasure at being a part of this union of two people who have made major contributions to gay and lesbian rights. The witnesses from Winston-Salem wore corsages of kale from the restaurant’s kitchen staff. Chocolates and champagne on ice awaited the newlyweds at their hotel and were shared with their opera friends down the hall.

Friends have already volunteered to help them plan an anniversary/wedding party, probably this summer.

Of the many major arts organizations that benefit from their time and generosity, their favorite is the UNC School of the Arts. One of their contributions to the school is an endowed scholarship, its name again reflecting who they are (now officially): The FrankandGary Scholarship.

The Wedding of Sarah Ferguson & Adam Daland

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We met in numerous places around Raleigh, numerous times, over numerous years. Eventually we decided to start meeting on purpose, and realized it was the smartest decision we've ever made.

We planned the world's best party, and got married in the midst of it on December 21st, 2013, at the NC Museum of Natural Sciences.

Supporting marriage equality always felt like a given for each of us, in a big-picture kind of way.

It wasn't until we realized how much we wanted to marry each other that the issue became immediate and visceral.

We hope that promoting donations to Equality NC as part of our registry will not only help monetarily, but will bring the message home to the friends and family celebrating our marriage with us.

The Wedding of Cassandra and Ashley Moore

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On January 23rd, 2003, my life changed forever. While attending college in Boone, NC, I met my beautiful wife, Ashley. Over the next few years we developed a friendship beyond anything I could have ever imagined, and began dating in December 2005. After a 2.5 year engagement, and despite the disheartening passing of Amendment One, we said our vows in NYC on January 23rd, 2013, exactly 10 years from the day I met my soul mate and the woman with whom I knew I could not live the rest of my life without.

My wife and I want to grow our family. We hope that one day soon Amendment One will be overturned and the NC Legal System will stand up for marriage equality for ALL, as we are all equal citizens and deserve the same civil rights. We know the unfortunate reality of how quickly the lives of same-sex couples can be changed in the face of disaster and devastation due to the lack of legal protection provided to their relationships. We hope the day comes soon that we can legally renew our vows here in our own home state surrounded by family and friends, and know that we are finally provided the same rights and protections as opposite-sex couples already are.

We choose to speak up about marriage inequality and share our story with others because we want others to realize that our love story is probably very similar to theirs or others they may hear, regardless of gender. We are the same as most people in committed relationships in that we want the ability and protection to love one another endlessly, raise our children together, and be successful and happy. Our commitment to one another has no effect on anyone else's commitment and should not be hindered due to someone else's insecurities.

The Union and Civil Marriage of Michael and Julie

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Michael and Julie are both natives of North Carolina. They met around ten years ago in Charleston, SC and have been a couple for eight. When they found out Josephine (now seven) was on the way, they decided to move back to North Carolina to be closer to family. The decision NOT to get married was, at the time, calculated due to the youth of the relationship and the uncertainty that comes with unexpected blessings. There was no familial or religious pressure to rush things, so they didn’t.

For years they said with some seriousness and some good old-fashioned “commitment-phobia” that they would not get married until everyone could. Years slipped by, and marriage became more and more of a moot point. They, much like so many of their same-sex couple friends and contemporaries, enjoyed a domestic partnership that was built on love, tolerance, shared experience, and jointly owned real estate. This past summer, politics were challenged by pragmatism. The only way that the entire family could be covered by the health insurance Michael was offered through work was if the couple got married, thus exposing the ugly face of privilege and inequality at the root of the issue that is marriage equality.

On a Tuesday in June, they were joined in a civil marriage at the Watauga County courthouse. In November, the family is celebrating this event by throwing a belated reception to celebrate the union. The couple believes that the spirit of marriage, whether or not a couple is religious or spiritual or secularly minded, is that all people have the right to pick at least one member of their family and have that choice recognized by the state. Therefore, they are asking their friends and family to honor their marriage with a gift of a donation to ENC so that this might be a reality for all citizens. Together we shall overcome: Love wins.

The Wedding of Matt and Jessie

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Jessie and Matt, if you can believe it, are a Craigslist Missed Connections success story. They were both living in Boston in 2006; Matt was working part-time at Borders Books, and one day he rang up Jessie's purchase and signed her up for Borders Rewards. That night, Jessie wrote a post about him on Missed Connections, just for fun, and thought nothing more of it. A few days later, someone showed the post to Matt; he got in touch, and the rest is history. On October 12th, 2013, they'll stand before their families and friends on Jessie's family's farm in Hillsborough and commit to a life together.

Matt, originally from Buffalo, recently completed Masters degrees from UNC in City & Regional Planning as well as Public Administration, and currently works for Quintiles. Jessie is a freelance photographer and works most frequently with nonprofits, traveling frequently across the country. They live in the Cleveland-Holloway neighborhood of Durham with their red-nose pit bull, Cleveland, and they applaud the important work that ENC is doing across the state.

The Wedding of Rosemary and Daniel

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Rosemary Byrnes and Daniel Stern tied the knot on July 3, 2012 in Hillsborough, North Carolina. Their marriage is just the latest step on their adventure of love, friendship, discovery and laughter. Sharing their commitment with friends and family has brought them so much joy and has made them all the more dedicated to working towards marriage equality for all couples. Join them in honoring their special day by supporting Equality NC and our efforts to build a movement for marriage in North Carolina and beyond.

The Wedding of John and Jennifer

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John and Jennifer met in 1992 and became good friends. After moving to different towns and drifting apart, they found each other again in 2009 and, as they rekindled their friendship, they fell in love. After 20 years of friendship and love, they got married on January 13, 2012. The "paperwork" was done by a magistrate of the state at the courthouse in downtown Raleigh. And the wedding ceremony was performed by a Unitarian Universalist minister that same evening.

We believe that all loving, committed couples should have the same rights and privileges as any other loving, committed couples. Any two consenting adults should have the choice to marry and have their marriage recognized around the world. Love is love. And love is good!

The Wedding of Lee and Lyric

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After 9 years together, Lee and Lyric are getting hitched May 27th, 2012. Though they now reside in DC, they grew up in North Carolina and met each other at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, in a Freshman Year Women's Studies class.

Lyric is an activist for gender equality, and both Lee and Lyric strongly believe that everyone should have the right to marry the person they love, as they are privileged to be able to do. Indeed, they will take their vows the same month as the so-called NC "marriage amendment" goes before North Carolinians for a vote. Lee and Lyric are energized by the progress they've seen recently on this issue in DC and Maryland, and are hopeful that they can do their part to ensure that NC is next.

The Family of John Hopkins and Stuart Williams

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We are Stuart & John and our son Ramsay; this is our story of how we became a family.

We have recently moved from Charlotte to Montreat, which is close to Asheville, North Carolina. We moved due to our love for the mountains and the slower, yet exciting pace of the area.

We met in May of 2006, and we both knew from our first date that we were meant for one another. We went to go see the movie Adam & Steve, went to Nikkos Restaurant and then afterwards had a glass of wine together on the rooftop of a high-rise building. We saw the City of Charlotte all lit up and we talked for hours there and we just knew this was the start of something magical.

In January of 2009 we had our ceremony. We had just a few of our closets friends enjoy our special day on a cruise ship with us. A month after our ceremony, we got word that the adoption we started was final. Our worlds both changed for the better in February of 2009 when our son Ramsay Hopkins Williams became part of our family.

There is nothing quite like our weekends together as a family. We have an active lifestyle, which includes paddle boating on a nearby pond, feeding the ducks, hiking, and rock hoping in the creeks here in Montreat. Also, we have a love for the theater and we are always going to see local musicals or plays in our community. When he's not in pre-school, our son Ramsay is at gymnastics practice or playing in the creek in our backyard like a typical little 5-year-old boy.  

Our extended family is large. Stuart is from a family of five siblings & John is from a family of three siblings. We enjoy being with each of them and all their families. We counted up that Ramsay currently has thirteen first cousins in our family, ranging from1 to 25 years of age. We have a guest bedroom at our home, which stays occupied many weekends with aunts, uncles, cousins, sisters and brothers who we always love having in town. We had Thanksgiving at our home last year and we had over 40 family members attend. We had to rent a big white tent to put in our backyard because we both wanted our whole family to sit at one table; it was truly a happy moment for our family to sit at one table and know that we are blessed to have each other. We both love the show on ABC called "Modern Family." We both relate so much to that show and our families and all the craziness (in a good way of course). There's never a dull moment at our house but laughter and unconditional love brings us all closer each time.

The Marriage of Diana Coe and Li Hooper

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Diana and Li grew up barely 30 minutes from each other here in North Carolina, yet they didn't cross paths until Li transferred to college in Philadelphia where Diana was wo-manning the front desk as a resident assistant registering new students. That was in September of 1984. Diana was immediately smitten and the two embarked on an on again-off again relationship that lasted until Diana graduated in 1987 and moved on to New York. By that time, Li had returned to North Carolina and they kept in touch infrequently over the years. In September of 2009, following a bad break-up, Diana had the irresistable urge to contact Li. The first thing Li said to her was "When are you going to stop all of this nonsense and move down here and marry me?" Diana replied, "Well, anything can happen, I am single now."

While still a bit gun-shy, Diana consented to dating and the two embarked on a long-distance relationship (Diana was now living 900 miles away in Massachusetts, where they could have, ironically, gotten legally married had they decided to live away from their respective families) in December of that year. In July of 2010, Li flew up to pack Diana's belongings, load up the U-Haul, and move her and her then 9-year-old son, to Winston Salem.

While family circumstances mean that they live two miles from each other in their own homes, Li and Diana have, nonetheless, decided to join their lives in a joyous celebration of their love on October 1, 2011. They will be surrounded by more than 100 of their dearest family and friends, more than half of whom are traveling from all across the country. Diana works at the Center for Creative Leadership in Greensboro and is proud activist for marriage equality and transgender rights. Li is hard at work starting a non-profit organization to provide direct services and advocacy to the GLBT community in Winston Salem and the surrounding areas.

She hopes to launch GRASP (Gender Revisioning and Sexuality Pathways) after returning from their weeklong honeymoon in Sedona, Arizona. They pray that someday soon they will be able to legalize their marriage in a civil ceremony and eventually join their households. In the meantime, they welcome donations to Equality NC in their honor.

The Marriage of Hillary and Kate

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Hillary and Kate met in 2009 through a mutual friend and have been together ever since!  They'll be tying the knot in Chapel Hill in October of 2011, with a ceremony at the Community Church of Chapel Hill Unitarian Universalist and a reception to follow. The couple will also have a civil ceremony following the wedding during their honeymoon in Vermont.

Originally from Connecticut and California respectively, both Hillary and Kate moved to North Carolina for educational opportunities. While both of their home states currently recognize some form of same-sex unions, they feel that it is important to marry here in North Carolina, since it is where they have made a life together, surrounded by their friends and families. Hillary and Kate know that their love, commitment, and care for each other is equal to those of legally married couples and look forward to the day that our state and country will catch on!

While both care deeply about equal rights for LGBT individuals for personal reasons, they also have professional ties to the cause. Hillary is a former ENC intern and currently works for a pro-choice non-profit and Kate is writing her dissertation (at UNC-Chapel Hill's Department of Sociology) on Pride parades and has researched anti-gay constitutional amendments.

They feel that a gift made to Equality NC is the ultimate show of support for their union, as well as all LGBT people, as it will help fund the tremendous work this organization does across the state.

The Marriage of Crystal and Gen

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They met at Steel Blue. Crystal saw Gen from across the room and it took her two hours to approach her. When she finally did, it was instant. They clicked and sparks flew! Gen and Crystal fell deeply in love and to this day are inseparable. After years together and raising a wonderful (and at times challenging) 5 year old son, the sparks have remained. They have dedicated time and love and truly feel they share a deeply rooted soul connection. Gen and Crystal have been through both amazing and trying times, but through it all they have remained best friends and dedicated partners.

They are planning a small beach wedding on the sand to represent their love and to formally commit their lives to each other. Though marriage equality is not a reality in North Carolina, they will continue their dedication to the cause and speak out for equality, while sporting equality t-shirts and car magnets.

"Material gifts are nice, but a true gift is one that keeps giving and will have a deep meaning," say Gen & Crystal. "Donating to HRC & Equality NC will be a true gift because they are fighting for equal rights so that one day, all people can have the right to marry and the social stigma will lessen because of attention on the LGBT community."

The Marriage of Sara and Holli

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We met in 2005 in college at UNC-Greensboro. After a few years of living separate lives, we found ourselves crossing paths again while out for a night on the town! We have enjoyed a year and a half of a fun relationship. We love to camp, hike, take walks with our two crazy dogs, Emmett and Archie, and enjoy "porch time" with friends.

We decided to get married in January 2010. Once gay marriage was legalized in Washington DC, we decided to make it official.  We will be traveling there on August 5th to be legally married and drive to Oak Island, NC to enjoy a small ceremony with our pastor, friends and family.

We have experienced many hard-hitting realities of the rights that gays and lesbians are denied, even in the last months of our engagement. We ask that our friends and family contribute, even the smallest amount, to help move this movement forward for us, and the many couples that struggle with inequality.

The Engagement of Justin and Joseph

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Justin Clapp, originally of Roxboro, North Carolina, and Joseph Lee, originally of Little Sandy Mush, North Carolina, celebrated their commitment to each other on Saturday, May 28, 2011, in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, with family and friends. The two honored Equality NC on their special day by encouraging others to give the gift of Equality.



The Marriage of Emily and Jacob

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After six years of love and laughter, Emily Elizabeth Herbert and Jacob Alan Traverse joyfully announce that we exchanged marriage vows and celebrated our love and commitment on Saturday, December 12, 2009, in Chapel Hill, NC.

We recognize our civil marriage as an unearned privilege, and believe that all couples in love should have the right to marry and all families should be treated equally.  (These newlyweds for equality are pictured on their honeymoon in Costa Rica.)



The Marriage of Bo and Michael

Let it be known and celebrate  that the spiritual union of Lenwood S.“Bo” Dean Jr.  and Michael Alexander Freeze II, brought fourth 12 years ago by the grace of God, was civilly recognized and consecrated in marriage on the historic grounds of the Great Barrington, Massachusetts Town Hall Thursday, July Thirtieth, in the year of our lord 2009. What God has brought together in marriage, let no one essay to keep apart in word or deed!

The Marriage of Amy & Laurel

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Amy and Laurel met in college when they both became members of the College Democrats. They were friends for about two years before they fell in love.

They were celebrating their first anniversary when Laurel asked Amy  "Assuming we could, would you marry me?" and she said yes and asked Laurel if she would. Laurel said yes. Later that day Laurel explained that this was her proposal!

They are having a ceremony but it won't be a legal union since their state has not legalized same-sex marriage yet.

They ask people to donate to Equality NC instead of using a typical registry because they have lived together for a year now and do not need any more things.

"Why not ask people to donate to an organization that we support, and that supports the legalization of our marriage? We can't think of a more appropriate gift."

The Marriage of Deb and Mary Love

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We have been together for 12 years and had a Commitment Ceremony in December 1997, after which we both changed our last names to Love because that is what we both want to be in the world. We had to pay to petition the courts to have the same last name, something that straight couples can automatically have for free after being married.

In August of 2008, we went to Long Beach, California (where we lived for seven years before moving to Asheville) and were LEGALLY married on August 13 by a very dear friend. When standing in line in Norwalk, CA (not a very gay community) to get our marriage license, we were congratulated more than once by passers-by who said “you deserve it.” This was a wonderful experience for us. We know that the day is coming when we will have the right to marry and have the federal benefits that come with it.

The Marriage of Jake and Ted

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Jake and Ted got married (legally in Boston, MA) in early March 2009 with a reception later that month in Chapel Hill. This picture shows them in New York on their five-year anniversary, just after they got engaged. Jake is on the left and Ted is on the right, and they are standing below the statue of Atlas bearing the weight of the world on his shoulders. Jake says that promoting equality is one of the best ways we can share the weight of the world.



The Marriage of Kelly Margolis & Jacob Dagger

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We will celebrate our love and our commitment to one another with a ceremony in Chapel Hill on December 27, 2008. We met in Carrboro in 2005, and our friendship quickly grew into a loving partnership. As we come together with our friends and family to celebrate our relationship through marriage, we want to remember all the loving couples who are deprived of the right to marry. We realize how lucky we are to be able to take advantage of the benefits and protections of marriage, and we will do all we can to extend these rights to everyone. Your tax-deductible donation to Equality NC Foundation will be a step toward recognizing all partnerships equally.

The Marriage of Mark & Robert Buchanan

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Mark's Story:  Bob and I were married in Canada on May 8, 2008. We wanted to do this as a celebration of the ten years we had been together. We had a religious ceremony in 2000, but in the eyes of our co-workers and family it wasn’t the same as married. Our civil ceremony was held in a picturesque Bed and Breakfast in Vancouver, British Columbia. One of the witnesses was an 82-year-old woman who was visiting the guesthouse. She cried during the exchange of vows. Afterwards, she told us that the ceremony was beautiful and reminded her of her own vows with her late husband many years ago.

When we returned to North Carolina, I decided to change my last name to match Bob’s. Had we remained in Canada, that right would have been automatic. In North Carolina, I had to petition the court and have two people sign affidavits to my character and wait for my name to be changed. This was only the beginning of the documents we signed to try to protect each other legally in case of death or accident. All this would be unnecessary if there was marriage equality in the United States.

We support the work of Equality North Carolina and encourage others to do the same. We give through the State Employees Combined Campaign. Marriage isn’t for every same-sex couple, but if it is the right thing for you and your partner to do, each marriage takes us one step closer to equality.

The Union of Michelle & Julia

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While there are many rights and privileges that we are currently unable to share with our heterosexual married counterparts in this wonderful nation, our hope is that someday our family will be awarded the same rights and privileges that our parents' families have held.

On Saturday, June 7, 2008, together with Colden (age 15) and Marah (age 12) Stefanisko, Michelle Cooper and Julia Simmons participated in a holy union and blessing at St. Davids Episcopal Church followed by a community celebration in Sylva, North Carolina.  We celebrated the love we share with our extended family, our friends, our Lord and each other in beautiful western North Carolina.

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