gay marriage

Orange County Register of Deeds race and Amendment One

ThinkProgress has a story on one low-level race that could have a big impact for LGBTs in the state.

On the surface, the election appears somewhat mundane: Chilton defeated incumbent Deborah Brooks in the Democratic primary for the Orange County, North Carolina register of deeds, a seemingly innocuous government position primarily tasked with keeping track of county real estate practices and issuing birth certificates, death certificates, and marriage licenses. What makes the election interesting to LGBT advocates is Chilton’s unusual campaign promise: upon taking office, Chilton has vowed to immediately begin issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples, even though doing so would violate “Amendment 1,” a North Carolina law passed in May 2012 making it illegal to recognize or perform same-sex marriages or civil unions in the state.

United Church of Christ sues NC over Amendment One

The United Church of Christ is suing the state of NC over Amendment One, saying it violates the First Amendment protection of freedom of religion. The suit was filed in Federal court in Charlotte; the church says it is the first by a national religious body to challenge a gay marriage ban on freedom of religion grounds.

ACLU suing for immediate action to end Amendment One; Cooper has no immediate comment

Several news outlets are reporting that the North Carolina ACLU is suing to for immediate action to overturn Amendment One. The action is being taken on behalf of gay couples in ill health and is similar to ruling last week in Ohio.

Given the health issues affecting the North Carolina couples, that’s too long to wait, said Chris Brook, legal director of the American Civil Liberties Union of North Carolina, which helped file a motion Wednesday calling for quick court action.

“While we are exceptionally encouraged and heartened by the Virginia case, there’s no set timeline on when the Fourth Circuit could rule,” Brook said.

“These couples are being harmed now. That’s why we’re filing. We believe their marriages should be recognized today. Not in a few months. Not in a few years. That may be too late.”

NC Amendment One may get struck down this summer

Both the Winston-Salem Journal and Greensboro News and Record are carrying a McClatchy Tribune article on the vulnerability of NC's Amendment One. A ruling striking down the ban could come a few months before the 2014 midterms.

The 4th Circuit, which covers the Carolinas, West Virginia, Virginia and Maryland, is one of several appeals courts around the nation that will hear potentially ground-breaking marriage cases in the coming months. Utah’s legal showdown begins Thursday.

Same-sex marriage is already allowed in Maryland. And on Valentine’s Day, a federal judge in Virginia ruled her state’s gay marriage ban is unconstitutional.

That ruling is now being appealed, and in line with the speed of other marriage-equality appeals, that case will be heard by the 4th Circuit panel on May 13.

Phil Berger Jr tells 6th grader about men marrying dogs

Phil Berger, Jr appeared at a Q&A at the Greensboro Montessori School with other candidates vying for Howard Coble's seat.

Sixth-grader Lana Torres explained that she supported marriage equality, and asked Rockingham County District Attorney Phil Berger Jr. what he would do ensure equal rights for LGBT people.

“Two years ago, the voters of North Carolina overwhelming approved Amendment One, which only recognized traditional marriage, and I was a leader in that effort,” Berger replied, according to the Greensboro News & Record. “I was the spokesperson for traditional marriage in North Carolina, and I am very much in favor of traditional marriage.”

Torres told the paper that she pressed Berger following the conclusion of the forum.

Will Roy Cooper shed a tear for NC's gays and lesbians?

Last week, news outlets covered the tearful statement by Kentucky's attorney general where he said he could not defend that state's ban on gay marriage. Meanwhile, as NC's Amendment One is challenged in court, our own attorney general has remained silent.

Will you join the attorney general of Kentucky, Mr. Cooper, and do the right thing? Or will liberals be too embarrassed to cast a vote for you in the governor's race in 2016?



Greg Brannon exemplifies social conservative hypocrisy

The tea party nutjobs who have taken over the GOP always claim to be about freedom and the Constitution, but they always seem to be quite selective about which parts of the Constitution matter and which people actually get to enjoy the freedoms.

Here's Greg Brannon, the guy who plagiarized the plagiarist, on jobs and the economy:

The fundamental purpose of government is to protect each person’s liberty. Government bureaucrats should not decide how you or I spend our time and money.

Here's Greg Brannon, who doesn't want government bureaucrats deciding how we spend our time and money, telling us that government should decide what medical options adult women are allowed to pursue:

Way to go New Jersey!

It won't be long before North Carolina joins the ranks of states embracing marriage among loving couples.
Thanks to Drew Reisinger, that train is already rolling.


Buncombe Register of Deeds wants to issue gay marriage licenses

The Register of Deeds will "accepting and hold same-sex marriage applications and push the question of equal marriage rights to the state's legal advisor, Attorney General Roy Cooper". (Announcement at Official Buncombe County Register of Deeds site)

“I will let each couple know that it is my hope to grant them a license, but I need to seek the North Carolina Attorney General’s approval," Reisinger said. "I have concerns about whether we are violating people's civil rights based on this summer's Supreme Court decision.

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