"We won't stop until we're equal."
That's the message of a remarkable new video about one gay couple's enduring love for one another -- and it's reminding us this week of how far we've come and how far we've yet to go.
Released last week by the Campaign for Southern Equality, the video is about the long and often painful road that lesbian couple Carol McCrory and Brenda Clark have had to traverse in their search for equality.
McCrory and Clark have been together for 25 years and have raised two children. They've been trying to get a marriage license in their home state of North Carolina for years, but time and time again, they've been refused.
"You get to the point where you think, 'This is who I am and for what it's worth, for the last number of years that you've got left, let's live this honestly,'" said McCrory in the video.
One of the couple's attempts to apply for a marriage license is shown in the moving clip.
"We're in our mid-60s," Clark says to the person behind the counter, her voice cracking. "Can you tell us what steps we might take to become full and equal citizens under the law before we die. Can you help us with that?"
It took five attempts but finally, the couple's wish was granted last month -- at least partially.
On Oct. 15, Buncombe County Register of Deeds Drew Reisinger accepted McCrory and Clark's marriage license application, making them the first same-sex couple to have their application accepted in not just North Carolina, but the South.
Reisinger had previously vowed to accept marriage license applications from gay couples, despite a ban in the state against same-sex marriage.
"The United States constitution demands equal rights for all people," Reisinger told McCrory and Clark as he accepted their application, adding that he was "very proud" of them for persevering in the face of overwhelming adversity.
Carol McCrory, left, and Brenda Clark, center, speak to Buncombe County Register of Deeds Drew Reisinger, right, after applying for a marriage license at the Buncombe County Register of Deeds office in Asheville, N.C., Tuesday, Oct. 15, 2013. (AP Photo/Adam Jennings)
Sadly, the historic moment remains little more than a symbolic gesture for now.
As The Huffington Post noted last month, Reisinger cannot issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples without the help of State Attorney General Roy Cooper. Though Cooper has announced his support for marriage equality, his spokeswoman has said that "these marriage licenses cannot be issued," per The Associated Press.
“I’m really disappointed,” Clark told the Duke Chronicle in October of Cooper's inaction.
Despite how daunting the challenges ahead may seem, neither woman is giving up the fight. The Chronicle reported that after years of trying to get married in North Carolina, Clark and McCrory were planning on traveling to New York to tie the knot.
"We will win," wrote McCrory in a blog for The Huffington Post last month. "Ultimately, North Carolina and the other Southern states will lose this battle, and we will win."
To learn more about the Campaign for Southern Equality, visit its website.
(Hat tip, Upworthy)