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In Carrboro, couples kiss for a cause during "Make Out on Main Street"

Sarah Owens (right) and Heather Sivaraman, both of Carrboro, kiss on Main Street to advocate for marriage equality on Saturday.

Sarah Owens (right) and Heather Sivaraman, both of Carrboro, kiss on Main Street to advocate for marriage equality on Saturday.

The two participated in “Make Out on Main Street,” where dozens of couples kissed at 2:14 p.m. on Saturday. The event, held in front of the plaza of Cameron’s gift shop, was part of “For the Love of Carrboro,” a series of events in February to promote the town.

Wurster and Tomlinson met at UNC, while Tomlinson was an undergraduate and Wurster was in graduate school.

Wurster said he never doubted he would marry her.

“There was never a question.” he said. “It’s just her honesty, and her care for people.”

Bridget Pemberton-Smith, one of the owners of Cameron’s, said it is the shop’s first time hosting an event like the mass makeout, which was attended by about 15 couples.

“It’s a way that brings people to the town, and hopefully while they are here, they will visit the restaurants, the stores and enjoy their day,” she said.

Pemberton-Smith said the event is also grounded in raising awareness of marriage equality, which she said is an important issue for Carrboro.

Carrboro Mayor Lydia Lavelle attended the event with her wife, Alicia Stemper. The two were the first same-sex couple to marry in Orange County after same-sex marriage was legalized in the state in October.

“We are so fortunate to live in a community that is so progressive,” Lavelle said.

“Especially the way things are in our country right now, with Alabama and other states. Just hopefully, there will be marriage equality for everyone sometime this year. It’s a day to celebrate love and celebrate Carrboro loving us.”

Bobbi Weinberg, a Carrboro resident, found the event on Facebook and came with her husband, Alan Fanning.

“It’s Valentine’s Day. It’s a good opportunity to make out with my wife,” Fanning said.

By the time the two got married, they had known each other for 13 years.

“At some point, we got together to do things, and doing things together feels right,” Fanning said. “I just felt like I want to keep doing things with her. It felt very natural.”

Lavelle said she has been with Stemper for 12 years.

“Once we met each other, at least for me, I knew I found the one,” Lavelle said.

Stemper said she loves Lavelle because she is magical, while Lavelle said she loves Stemper because of her long list of good qualities.

“I can’t say anything critical about Alicia. She has so many good attributes. She’s smart, pretty; she’s intelligent; she’s athletic; she’s caring; she’s compassionate; I mean this just goes on and on,” Lavelle said. “We actually grew up very similar lives, just stayed apart, and we finally found each other.”

city@dailytarheel.com

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