On April 28th, 2014, representatives of the United Church of Christ, ministers of various faiths, and congregants all filed this lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of North Carolina under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against the State of North Carolina. The plaintiffs, represented by ...
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On April 28th, 2014, representatives of the United Church of Christ, ministers of various faiths, and congregants all filed this lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of North Carolina under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against the State of North Carolina. The plaintiffs, represented by private counsel, asked the Court to enjoin and declare unconstitutional all North Carolina laws that prohibit same-sex marriage, claiming that they denied the plaintiffs' rights to due process and equal protection.
Specifically, the plaintiffs consisted of three different groups: the Religious Denomination Plaintiff, Clergy Plaintiffs or Minister Plaintiffs, and Couple Plaintiffs. The plaintiffs alleged that by denying same-sex couples the right to marry and prohibiting the couples and clergy to have religious marriage ceremonies, the state was treating same-sex couples as second-class citizens and interfering with the plaintiffs' religious beliefs of marriage equality.
On August 12, 2014, the court ordered that the defendants' motion for a stay be granted, pending the Fourth Circuit's ruling in Bostic v. Schaefer (PB-VA-0005
in this Clearinghouse).
On October 10, 2014, the Court issued a permanent injunction that, in keeping with the decision in Bostic, permanently enjoined the State of North Carolina from enforcing laws banning same-sex marriage or punishing clergy for solemnizing same-sex marriage and refusing to recognize same-sex marriage.
On October 9, 2014, Thom Tillis (North Carolina Speaker of the House of Representatives) and Phil Berger (President Pro Tempore of the North Carolina Senate) filed a motion to intervene on their own behalf and that of their constituents. On October 10, 2014, the Court denied their motion, finding their interests adequately represented by the Attorney General, and in their order issuing the injunction noted that, "...in the hours preceding this Order there have been a number of last minute motions filed by interested parties. The issue before this court is neither a political issue nor a moral issue. It is a legal issue and it is clear as a matter of what is now settled law in the Fourth Circuit that North Carolina laws prohibiting same sex marriage... are unconstitutional." (12 F. Supp. 3d 790.)
On November 7, 2014, Tillis and Berger appealed to the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit the District Court's orders denying their motion to intervene as well as the judgment of the Court.
On February 10, 2015, the Court of Appeals placed this case in abeyance pending the United States Supreme Court's decision in Obergefell v. Hodges, (PB-OH-0003
in this Clearinghouse.) which is set for argument in the Supreme Court on April 28, 2015, and should be decided by the end of June 2015. Megan Dolan - 06/18/2014
Claire Lally - 04/03/2015