Three days after a federal judge overturned North Carolina’s same-sex marriage ban, Randy Jackson and Eddie Locklear went to the Pasquotank County Courthouse to get married.
The magistrate on duty refused to perform the ceremony.
“He said it was against his religion,” Jackson recalled.
Jackson said the rebuff felt personal. He and Locklear had been together 31 years, and marriage between gay men was now legal in North Carolina.
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But, he said, “I got over it pretty quickly.” The next day, a different magistrate married them. They are now Randy and Eddie Jackson.
Randy Jackson, 69, is a retired adjunct professor of horticulture. Eddie Jackson, 55, was a cosmetologist. They met in Norfolk and moved to Elizabeth City in 2002.
The coastal town of 18,000 bills itself as “Harbor of Hospitality.” And, for the most part, Randy Jackson said it has been just that. They occasionally get stares, he said, when they eat dinner out at a restaurant. But they feel accepted by most people, especially by other minorities.
According to the register of deeds, their marriage is one of nine same-sex marriages in Pasquotank County since Oct. 10, 2014, when same-sex marriage was legalized in North Carolina. Three couples were male; six were female.