The three Charlotte clergywomen who presided over the group wedding also attended the celebration/news conference at Charlotte's Holy Covenant United Church of Christ.
One of them, the Rev. Nancy Allison, who hosted Monday's event, challenged other local ministers to openly welcome homosexuals into their congregations and join the campaign to make gay and lesbian marriage legal in North Carolina - as it is in five states and in the District of Columbia.
A few ministers did show up to endorse same-sex marriage and congratulate the couples. The Rev. Jay Leach, pastor of the Unitarian Universalist Church of Charlotte, gave the blessing. And the Rev. Stephen Shoemaker, pastor of Myers Park Baptist Church, told the gathering that the group wedding was "a sign that God's love is for all - and I mean all."
Glenn, who has been with his partner for more than 25 years, said his wedding in Washington - his birthplace - "renewed my faith in our nation." But he declined to give his or his partner's full name "because there are those who don't understand and who may choose to bring harm."
Myra Diuguid, a lesbian who's 65, spoke tearfully about her Jewish wedding Sunday to her partner of almost 22 years, whom she would identify only by her Yiddish first name - "Ahova."
"It was pure joy," Diuguid said. "I was taking the love of my life into my life - for better or worse."
The seven couples were part of the same group wedding Sunday, but each participated in private rituals with their own clergy. The three religions represented were Reform Judaism, Unitarian Universalist and United Church of Christ. All three faiths allow clergy to marry gays and lesbians.
AARP Pride Information and Resources for Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender People, Families and Allies - AARP