More religious organizations join lawsuit for marriage equality in North Carolina

The Central Conference of American Rabbis, All Souls Episcopal Cathedral, and the Alliances of Baptists have joined the United Church of Christ in a lawsuit that challenges North Carolina's constitutional amendment banning marriage equality. 

On April 28, The United Church of Christ filed a lawsuit in an attempt to overturn the ban on same-sex marriage, which passed through a referendum in 2012. This lawsuit differs from most lawsuits that challenge the ban on marriage equality because it includes a religious freedom claim. Essentially, the church argues that North Carolina limited its freedom to practice its religion by restricting same-sex marriage, an institution that the church recognizes. Because of this limitation, the church faces criminal charges if it solemnizes a marriage between two people of the same sex. The church’s argument is strengthened by including due process and equal protection claims, which are the usual claims in similar suits. 

The lawsuit was recently joined by other denominations as well. The Central Conference of American Rabbis supports The United Church of Christ by saying, “The CCAR’s support for full civil and religious rights for gays and lesbians is based on the Torah’s assertion that every person is created in God’s image and deserves dignity, equality and respect.” Furthermore, The Alliance of Baptists and the All Souls Episcopal Cathedral have added their names to the suit. The Alliance of Baptists joined by saying, “We celebrate our “Partnership in Mission and Ministry” with the United Church of Christ and gladly join them in giving bold witness in support of religious liberty and justice for all—especially in the State of North Carolina—where the freedom of churches and clergy to celebrate marriage vows is being threatened.”

With so many denominations fighting for equality, we hope that it becomes increasingly more difficult to defend the ban. Read more about the concerted efforts with the CCAR here.