Buncombe County, North Carolina will begin accepting marriage applications from gay and lesbian couples starting Tuesday. However, Drew Reisinger, the county's register of deeds, has said that he will withhold his signature from the applications until he is given permission by Attorney General Roy Cooper.

Cooper said Monday that he supports gay marriage but is committed to defending a constitutional amendment limiting marriage to heterosexual unions approved by 61 percent of voters last year.

(Related: North Carolina AG Roy Cooper endorses gay marriage.)

Gay couples can begin filling out applications at 8 AM on Tuesday, Reuters reported.

Reisinger said that he was moved to act by the recent Supreme Court decision striking down the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which led to the federal government's decision to recognize the legal marriages of gay couples.

“Lord knows I've had a handful of close friends who are in same-sex relationships come in and ask for a marriage license,” Reisinger said. “It's hard to get the words out to tell them, 'No.'”

“I have concerns about whether we are violating people's civil rights based on this summer's Supreme Court decision,” he added.

According to the 2010 U.S. Census, Buncombe County has the highest percentage (1.2%) of same-sex couples of any county in the state.

As part of the Campaign for Southern Equality's We Do Campaign, launched in 2011, gay and lesbian couples routinely ask for and are denied marriage licenses in several Southern states, including North Carolina.

In 2011, Reisinger tweeted a video from the group, along with caption: “Powerful video of people requesting a marriage license & being denied.”