Gay Marriage | News | North Carolina

'We Don't Have Time To Wait' Says 78-Year-Old Plaintiff in New NC Marriage Lawsuit

Gerber

The ACLU, the ACLU of North Carolina Legal Foundation and the law firms of Sullivan & Cromwell LLP and Ellis & Winters LLP have filed a new suit in federal court on behalf of three married, same-sex couples in North Carolina seeking state recognition of their marriages.

The News-Record reports:

“We don’t have time to wait,” said High Point resident Ellen “Lennie” Gerber, 78, one of the plaintiffs in the suit. “Pearl is 89 and frail. We’ve been treated nicely in High Point, but what if we call 911 in another city? What if I’m not allowed to be there? It would be beyond intolerable if that should happen.”

Gerber and Pearl Berlin have been together for 48 years, and married legally last year in Maine. But a hospital could deny Gerber visitation rights because she is not legally recognized as a family member or next of kin in North Carolina.

The ACLU announced yesterday in a press release:

The ACLU has also sought immediate relief on behalf of one of the couples in the existing Fisher-Borne et al. v. Smith case who have a young child who is being denied critical medical care because North Carolina neither recognizes his mothers' marriage nor allows both mothers to adopt their child and establish a legal relationship.

The ACLU has also sought immediate relief on behalf of one of the couples in the existing Fisher-Borne et al. v. Smith case who have a young child who is being denied critical medical care because North Carolina neither recognizes his mothers' marriage nor allows both mothers to adopt their child and establish a legal relationship.

North Carolina's ban on marriage for same-sex couples prevents the plaintiff couples from securing hundreds of protections provided in both state and federal law to married couples. If one member of the couple were to die before the state recognizes their marriage, the surviving spouse will be forever denied not only these protections but the dignity that respect from the state affords, such as having one's relationship acknowledged forever on a death certificate.

The new case is Gerber and Berlin v. Cooper. The ACLU has more information on the plaintiffs HERE.

Watch a report from the News-Record, HERE.

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Comments

  1. Great picture and article but who does your proof reading? You have two identical paragraphs.

    Posted by: Jere | Apr 10, 2014 10:27:29 AM


  2. In the first case, I thought Obama and the ACA enacted provisions that hospitals had to allow those the patient wanted with them and could not ban people simply because they weren't immediate family.

    In all the times I took my mom to the hospital they never asked for proof of our relationship. Same goes for the times I took my young nephews.

    Posted by: Sean (The Jeep Guy) | Apr 10, 2014 10:44:42 AM


  3. And your experience Sean (the jeep guy) proves what? Unfortunately, until we have equal protections under the law, the validity of our relationships are subject to the arbitrary assessment of hospital administrators. Second class may be comfortable at times, but it's not ideal for a lifetime journey.

    Posted by: Joe in Ct | Apr 10, 2014 2:19:18 PM


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