Gay Marriage

A federal appeals court has rejected a challenge to a North Carolina law that allows magistrates to refuse to perform same-sex marriages.

The Richmond-based 4th Circuit Court of Appeals issued a ruling Wednesday that three couples who sued to overturn the law lack standing to challenge the law's use of taxpayer funds.

scales of justice
Scott*/Flickr

The federal appeals court has rejected a challenge to a 2015 state law that lets North Carolina magistrates opt out of marrying same-sex couples on religious grounds. The 4th Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond ruled Wednesday that the three couples who challenged the law lacked standing to sue and were not harmed by the law.

Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals, Lewis F. Powell Jr. Courthouse
Taber Andrew Bain from Richmond, VA, USA [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Lawyers for the state of North Carolina and three gay couples argued in federal appeals court Wednesday over a state law that lets magistrates refuse to perform gay marriages on religious grounds. At issue is whether the couples have the right to sue, even if another magistrate performs the service. 

The Catawba Indian Nation has closed its bingo hall in Rock Hill, S.C., citing a downturn in sales, particularly "historical sluggish summer sales," and competition from the South Carolina and North Carolina lotteries.

A federal appeals court will hear arguments Wednesday in a case over whether local magistrates can refuse to marry gay couples on religious grounds. Three couples had challenged SB2, a 2015 state law passed to protect magistrates after gay marriage became legal. 

Ludovic Bertron / Flickr

A small portion of a magistrate’s job in North Carolina is performing civil marriage ceremonies. A bill that’s already passed the Senate would allow state magistrates and register of deeds employees to “opt out” of this part of their job if it contradicts their religious beliefs. This is all part of a debate over same-sex marriage. The legislation could have other effects if it becomes law.

Several magistrates in North Carolina resigned last fall. They didn’t want to marry gay couples, so they quit, citing religious beliefs. That’s why Senate leader Phil Berger introduced this bill.


Highway 74 Closer After Traffic Fatality 

Highway 74 is still closed in Monroe near CMC-Union. A section of the road has been shut down in both directions since shortly after 7 this morning, when a tractor trailer turned over onto a sheriff’s deputy’s patrol car. The deputy was killed in the accident. Authorities haven’t released that person’s name. The driver of the tractor trailer, Eddie Weeks of Fayetteville, faces a misdemeanor death by motor vehicle charge. The DOT hasn’t said whether that section of Highway 74 will reopen.

Courtesy of Mapsof.net

South Carolina’s Attorney General says he will appeal A federal judge’s ruling that struck down South Carolina’s ban on gay marriage.

A children's rights group says South Carolina's same-sex marriage ban harms children with gay parents.  The Lawyers' Committee for Children's Rights says in court papers filed last week that children of gay couples thrive like any kids in two-parent homes but are discriminated against by South Carolina's law.    The nonprofit advocacy group filed its papers Wednesday in one of the lawsuits challenging South Carolina's ban on gay marriage.

GOP LEADERS SEEK TO RESTORE GAY MARRIAGE BAN

The federal government is recognizing gay marriage in six more states – including North Carolina - extending federal benefits to those couples.   The other states are: Alaska, Arizona, Idaho, West Virginia and Wyoming.   Saturday's announcement by Attorney General Eric Holder brings the total number of states with federal recognition of same-sex marriage to 32, plus the District of Columbia.  Couples married in these states will qualify for a range of federal benefits, including Social Security and veterans' benefits.

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