Greenville Co. same-sex couples apply for marriage licenses - FOX Carolina 21

Greenville Co. same-sex couples apply for marriage licenses

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Same-sex couples, friends, family and supporters gather outside Greenville Co. County Square. (July 30, 2014/FOX Carolina) Same-sex couples, friends, family and supporters gather outside Greenville Co. County Square. (July 30, 2014/FOX Carolina)
A couple applies for a marriage license at Greenville Co. County Square. (July 30, 2014/FOX Carolina) A couple applies for a marriage license at Greenville Co. County Square. (July 30, 2014/FOX Carolina)
GREENVILLE, SC (FOX Carolina) -

Putting the debate over same-sex marriage front and center, couples lined up in Greenville County to challenge the ban that could go all the way to the Supreme Court.

On the heels of 4th Circuit Court of Appeals ruling overturning Virginia's ban on same-sex marriage, several same-sex couples showed up at Greenville County's probate court to apply for marriage licenses on Wednesday.

The couples were denied the licenses.

"We know you're just doing your job, and this is the third time we have been here in this office to apply," said engaged Piedmont couple Ivy Hill and Misha Gibson.

"If you love the person that you're with, you come to this office and request a marriage license. And then you get married and live happily ever after, and that's what I want," Gibson said.

Family, friends and clergy joined the couples at County Square saying same-sex couples should have the freedom to say their "I do's" in South Carolina.

The Campaign for Southern Equality said pressure is mounting for more states to change their laws.

"We do this against the backdrop of federal courts finding again and again that laws like Amendment One are discriminatory and unconstitutional," said Rev. Jasmine Beach-Ferrara, executive director for the Campaign for Southern Equality.

Wednesday was the third time in four years local LGBT couples applied for licenses in Greenville County as part of the group's "We Do" campaign.

"It's always been emotional," Hill said. "Today I think there is a special kind of hope in the air with the rulings, and we are all confident that we are going to be able to come to this office and get a yes."

But the pastor of Roebuck Baptist Church in Spartanburg County disagrees. He said he refers to scripture for guidance on same-sex marriage.

"As a Christian, I believe marriage is between a man and a woman. I believe that's God's design and that's been a law, a custom, a tradition, not just in church but within our culture," said Rev. Tim Williams.

No matter what the opinion, the debate over same-sex marriage is far from over in South Carolina and across the country.

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