[Ed. – Clearly beauty is in the eye of the beholder.]
Same-sex marriage bans have faced a number of legal challenges over the years, but a new lawsuit from the United Church of Christ is apparently the first challenge in the courts to invoke religious liberty. The suit will ask a district court in North Carolina to strike down the state’s laws barring same-sex marriages, in part because a provision that makes it a misdemeanor for clergy to perform the ceremonies violates the church’s religious freedom. A number of same-sex couples have also joined the suit, petitioning for the right to marry.
This is the 66th challenge to a same-sex marriage ban currently making its way through the courts, as the Charlotte Observer explains. It joins many of those other challenges in also citing the equal protection and due process provisions of the Fourteenth Amendment in its challenge against state laws. The suit reads:
“By denying same-sex couples the right to marry and prohibiting religious denominations even from performing marriage ceremonies for same-sex couples, the State of North Carolina stigmatizes same-sex couples, as well as the religious institutions and clergy that believe in equal rights.”