NC magistrates law challenged for constitutionality

Six North Carolina residents are challenging a law that allows magistrates to opt out performing civil marriages if it goes against their religious beliefs.

The plaintiffs, who filed the complaint Wednesday and include both LGBT and interracial couples, argue the magistrates law uses taxpayer dollars for religious reasons and therefore violates the First Amendment.

Charlotte-based lawyer Luke Largess, who filed the lawsuit in the U.S.


LGBTQ

The University offers a number of resources for the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer community. The LGBTQ Center works to foster an inclusive community within UNC. They do this by advocating for LGBTQ rights, setting up educational programs and offering resources to the UNC community relating to these issues.

Over the past few years the state of North Carolina has been involved in a fight over LGBTQ rights. In 2012 the state voted on a ballot initiative known as Amendment One. The initiative passed 61 percent to 39 percent and established a ban on gay marriage in the state’s constitution. A number of groups challenged the constitutionality of the decision, including the ACLU.

In October 2014, North Carolina became the 29th state, plus Washington, D.C., to legalize gay marriage in the United States. The Supreme Court ruled same-sex marriage legal in all 50 states on June 26, 2015. 

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Chapel Hill loses two LGBT leaders

LGBTQ advocates say representation in North Carolina's local governments is small, and this year's local elections didn't help. On Nov. 3, North Carolina lost three openly LGBTQ local elected officials, including Chapel Hill’s Mayor Mark Kleinschmidt and Town Council member Lee Storrow.


Community members seek awareness, equality for LGBTQ community

“Carrboro has been a leader in North Carolina in LGBTQ equality since the 90s,” said Damon Seils, member of the Carrboro Board of Aldermen. This is why, he said, the board decided to declare Oct. 10, Marriage Equality Day. The day was created in 2014, and celebrated with gusto, after Amendment 1 was overturned. This year it passed by as a reminder of the important day, without celebration.