Breaking news: Judge strikes down anti-LGBT amendment

 Same-sex marriages now legal in North Carolina

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Matt Comer
Editor – qnotes.com

* Read the judge’s ruling

ASHEVILLE — A federal judge in North Carolina’s Western District has issued an order permanently prohibiting defendants in a United Church of Christ lawsuit against North Carolina’s anti-LGBT amendment from enforcing the ban. Additionally, the judge denied Republican state leaders’ motion to intervene in the case.

U.S. District Court Judge Max O. Cogburn Jr., issued his two orders shortly after 5 p.m.

“Defendants are PERMANENTLY ENJOINED from enforcing such laws to the extent these laws prohibit a person from marrying another person of the same gender, prohibit recognition of same-sex marriages lawfully solemnized in other States, Territories, or a District of the United States, or seek to punish in any way clergy or other officiants who solemnize the union of same-sex couples,” Cogburn wrote.

Photo courtesy qnotes.com Charlotte couple Joey Hewell, 34, and Scott Lindsley, 45, celebrate the news in Charlotte.

Photo courtesy qnotes.com
Charlotte couple Joey Hewell, 34, and Scott Lindsley, 45, celebrate the news in Charlotte.

Cogburn’s order comes even after Republican state House Speaker Thom Tillis and Senate President Pro Tempore Phil Berger attempted to intervene in the case, including a request for an eight-day extension in the case. Cogburn denied their motions, submitted by attorneys with connections to the anti-LGBT National Organization for Marriage — the same group which contributed more than $400,000 to the 2012 campaign to successfully pass the anti-gay marriage ban.

In denying the GOP’s intervention request, Cogburn also rejected state House Speaker Thom Tillis’ and President Pro Tempore Phil Berger’s arguments that North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper had failed to adequately represent the state.

“Based on a full consideration of all the factors, the court finds that the proposed intervenors’ interests are, have been, and continue to be adequately represented by the North Carolina Attorney General,” Cogburn wrote.

The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday had declined to hear an appeal from the Fourth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals and several others, essentially paving the way for legal same-sex marriages in North Carolina. In July, the Fourth Circuit overturned Virginia’s similar ban. All legal experts — including North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper — have said the Fourth Circuit’s decision is binding on North Carolina.

Read complete coverage here.

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