Breaking: United Church of Christ Files Lawsuit Against North Carolina’s Marriage Equality Ban

Written by scott on April 28th, 2014

North Carolina MapThis just in – a gay-friendly church has filed a lawsuit in North Carolina saying that the ban on marriage equality violates its religious freedom.

The Washington Blade reports:

The United Church of Christ and a group of clergy and same-sex couples on Monday filed a federal lawsuit challenging North Carolina’s constitutional amendment that defines marriage as between a man and a woman.

The lawsuit — which was filed in U.S. District Court for the Western District of North Carolina — argues the marriage amendment violates the religious beliefs of denominations and congregants who support the recognition of gay nuptials and clergy who want to perform them. Rev. Geoffrey A. Black, president of the United Church of Christ, and Rev. Nancy Kraft of Holy Trinity Lutheran Church in Charlotte are among the plaintiffs who attended a Charlotte press conference.

“As a senior minister, I am often asked to perform marriage ceremonies for same-sex couples in my congregation,” said Rev. Joe Hoffman of First Congregational United Church of Christ in Asheville, who is a plaintiff along with Diane Ansley and Cathy McGaughey, two of his congregants who have been together for 14 years. “My denomination — the United Church of Christ — authorizes me to perform these ceremonies, but Amendment One denies my religious freedom by prohibiting me from exercising this right.”

It seems like a great argument – after all, whose religious freedom is more infringed, for-profit business owners who must follow the law in marriage equality states, or actual pastors and ministers who are forbidden from marrying same sex couples in anti-gay marriage state?

Find more articles and gay wedding resources in North Carolina.

 

2 Comments so far ↓

  1. Sean says:

    Finally

  2. Harry R. Freeman-Jones says:

    It’s nice to see the United Church of Christ taking this action. Now if only the leadership of the other mainline denominations would learn from UCC’s example and do the right thing! Meanwhile the United Methodist Church for all it’s slick TV ads facetiously urging folks to RETHINK CHURCH…while condemning homosexuality must take a page from UCC’s ministry or face a nasty division and death as a relevant institution.

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