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ACLU of North Carolina on 4th Circuit Marriage Ruling: 'The Time to Act is Now'

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The ACLU of North Carolina told reporters that it would push harder to invalidate the state's gay marriage ban following yesterday's ruling by the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals affirming the unconstitutionality of Virginia's ban.

The News & Observer reports:

Chris Brook, legal director at the ACLU of North Carolina Legal Foundation, announced the plans before a bank of TV cameras and group of news crews. His organization and the national ACLU are behind several lawsuits pending in federal court in this state challenging the constitutionality of the 2012 voter-approved amendment changing the North Carolina Constitution to define marriage as a union between a man and a woman...

...Brook acknowledged that an appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court decision could mean that gay marriages will not occur immediately in North Carolina. It could be next summer before such a decision is weighed by the U.S. Justices.

But civil rights attorneys want to be prepared to move quickly in the wake of a higher court ruling and they will argue that North Carolina's ban should be overturned immediately.

"The time to act is now," Brook said. "The law is very clear here in North Carolina."

Watch video of Brook at WRAL...


SC Attorney General Will Continue to Defend State's Same-Sex Marriage Ban: VIDEO

South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson

South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson has said that he will continue to fight a lawsuit aiming to overturn the state’s ban on same-sex marriage despite a ruling by a federal appeals court, reports The Daily Journal.

Unlike Wilson, yesterday North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper announced he would no longer defend the state's ban in court. There are four lawsuits currently challenging it in North Carolina.

South Carolina passed a law banning same-sex marriage in 1996. Voters approved a similar constitutional amendment in 2006.

Yesterday, the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that Virginia's ban on same-sex marriage is unconstitutional. The ruling has jurisdiction over South Carolina which is in the circuit, along with North Carolina and West Virginia.

The lawsuit against South Carolina was filed by a Katherine Bradacs and Tracie Goodwin who were legally married in Washington, D.C., and are now living in South Carolina. The case has been on hold while the appeals court considered the Virginia case.

Mark Powell, a spokesman for Wilson, said he sees no need to change course because the U.S. Supreme Court will likely make the final decision.

"Ultimately, this will be a decision for the U.S. Supreme Court. People should not rush to act or react until that time, when a decision is made by the highest court in the land.”

However, according to Ryan Wilson, executive director of South Carolina Equality, the ruling brings the state one step closer to same-sex marriage and “confirms that gay and lesbian couples are no different from straight couples.”

Last October, Linda Oliver, the mayor of West Union, South Carolina, came under fire for saying that she didn't want "queer" marriages "rammed down her throat."

Watch a Wavy.com report on the striking down of Virginia's ban on same-sex marriage, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "SC Attorney General Will Continue to Defend State's Same-Sex Marriage Ban: VIDEO" »


NC Attorney General Says He'll No Longer Defend State's Gay Marriage Ban Following 4th Circuit Virginia Ruling

Cooper

North Carolina's Attorney General Roy Cooper said today that he would no longer defend the state's gay marriage ban following the Virginia ruling today from the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals, the News Observer reports:

Cooper said that in light of the decision it would be “futile” to continue arguing the North Carolina’s case against same-sex marriage.

“I have concluded that the state of North Carolina will not oppose the cases moving forward,” Cooper said before a bank of television cameras at his office in downtown Raleigh. “… Our office believes the judges in North Carolina are bound by this 4th Circuit decision.”

Four cases are currently challenging North Carolina's ban on gay marriage. Cooper's decision will not immediately affect NC, the paper says, because no judge has ruled there, but it does pave the way for further equality rulings.

Added Cooper: “Our attorneys have vigorously argued this case every step of the way … There are really no arguments left to be made.”

Watch video of Cooper at WRAL.


North Carolina Charter School Bill Drops Protections For LGBT Students

Last Friday, new legislation was approved by the North Carolina House of Representatives that fails to provide protections for LGBTI students at charter schools run by for-profit management companies, reports NC Policy Watch.  

220px-Marcus_BrandonSenate Bill 793 prevents charter schools from discriminating on the basis of “ethnicity, national origin, gender, or disability” but fails to provide specific protections for LGBT students.

The bill, which also allows charter schools to keep employees’ salaries secret, included protections for LGBT students in earlier versions.

Democrat Rep. Marcus Brandon, who is the only openly LGBT member of the North Carolina General Assembly, had argued that the LGBT community is not a protected class in North Carolina.  This prompted the need for a previous amendment that drew on language from federal law, which was eventually stripped in a conference committee.

The Senate must act on the bill before it goes to the Governor.

Last month, during a debate on Senate Bill 793, North Carolina Republican Representative Paul Stam compared pedophilia, incest, masochism and other illegal sexual practices with homosexuality.

 

 


150 Anti-Gay Bigots Protest as Lesbian Couple Attempts to Get Marriage License in NC: VIDEO

North carolina

A same-sex couple has been denied a marriage license in Marion County, North Carolina, reports Campaign For Southern Equality.

Same-sex marriage is illegal in North Carolina.

The action was part of the WE DO campaign where same-sex couples have tried to get a marriage license across the state.

BigotsAlthough an estimated 150 anti-gay protesters turned out at the McDowell County Register of Deeds’ Office, the couple - Keisha and Dericka - was surrounded by friends and supporters and received a blessing from Rev. Christy Corna, who will officiate their wedding ceremony on September 6th.

Rev. Jasmine Beach-Ferrara, executive director of the Campaign for Southern Equality, said:

“This is what courage looks like–for Keisha and Dericka and their friends to stand up publicly for equality when there is so much pressure to stay silent, when you are outnumbered by those who are protesting you.”

After the license was refused, Dericka said:

“I hope that what we did today can help my future children have a better life. I hope that no child has to encounter some of the struggles I have.”

Despite being denied a state marriage license, the couple plans to marry in Washington, D.C., later this week.

Watch an ABC News 13 report, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "150 Anti-Gay Bigots Protest as Lesbian Couple Attempts to Get Marriage License in NC: VIDEO" »


North Carolina Republican Paul Stam Compares Pedophilia, Masochism With Homosexuality - VIDEO

 

Paul stam rep north carolina

In a debate Tuesday, North Carolina Republican Representative Paul Stam compared pedophilia, incest, masochism and other illegal sexual practices with homosexuality.

In 2011, Stam compared homosexuality with polygamy and incest while calling for a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage.

During a debate Tuesday on a proposal to prevent charter schools from discrimination based on sexual orientation, Stam suggested that, like homosexuality, adult sexual attraction to children is a sexual orientation.

Paul stamStam passed out a two-page paper at the debate titled “What is Sexual Orientation?” which listed what he said were 30 different sexual orientations.  He argued that the definition of sexual orientation should be narrowed, otherwise it would include pedophilia, incest, sadism and masochism along with homosexuality and heterosexuality.

The list was taken from the American Psychological Association’s “Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders,” which actually classified many of the definitions as disorders at one time and in 2013 said “pedophilia is a mental disorder; that sex between adults and children is always wrong; and that acting on pedophilic impulses is and should be a criminal act.”

Of Stam’s list, Democratic Representative Tricia Cotham stated:

“This is shameful. He needs to understand that his words and his actions are offensive and cannot be tolerated.”

The House approved the changes to the charter school law, removing a provision prohibiting charter schools from discriminating against applications on the basis of ethnicity, national origin, gender or disability.

Stam said later he was only trying to get the author of the amendment to define sexual orientation.

Watch Stam's 2011 remarks on North Carolina Marriage Amendment, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "North Carolina Republican Paul Stam Compares Pedophilia, Masochism With Homosexuality - VIDEO" »


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