The Diocese of North Carolina statement on the federal lawsuit filed by the United Church of Christ who claim that a North Carolina law infringes on their religious freedom:
On April 28, the United Church of Christ (UCC), along with individual churches, clergy people and same-sex couples seeking to marry, filed a federal suit in the Western District of North Carolina claiming that Amendment One, the state law defining opposite-sex marriage as the only legally recognized civil union, infringes on their First Amendment right to practice their religion. Under North Carolina state law, a minister who marries a same-sex couple, which some religious denominations allow, is committing a misdemeanor for performing a marriage ceremony without a marriage license for the couple.
Clergy and individuals from the Unitarian Universalist, Reform Jewish,
Lutheran and Baptist traditions joined the UCC in bringing the suit.
Read more here:
This is the nation's first faith-based legal challenge to a same-sex marriage ban. It is also the first time an entire religious denomination has joined this type of suit.
In 2012, the Episcopal Diocese of North Carolina passed a resolution in opposition to any state or federal constitutional amendment prohibiting same-sex civil marriage or civil unions. This opposition affirms the 1994 Episcopal Church resolution calling upon local and state legislatures and the United States Congress to approve measures giving gay and lesbian couples legal protection, including "commitments to mutual support enjoyed by non-gay couples."
The 2012 Diocese of North Carolina resolution reads:
On Reaffirming Opposition to Constitutional Amendments that Prohibit Same-Sex Civil Marriage or Civil Unions.
Resolved, that the 196th Convention of the Diocese of North Carolina reaffirm the Episcopal Church’s historical support of gay and lesbian persons as children of God and entitled to full civil rights; and be it further
Resolved, that the 196th Diocesan Convention reaffirm the action of the 71st General Convention of The Episcopal Church which in 1994 called upon “municipal council, state legislatures and the United States Congress to approve measures giving gay and lesbian couples protection[s] such as: bereavement and family leave policies; health
benefits; pension benefits; real-estate transfer tax benefits; and commitments to mutual support enjoyed by non-gay married couples”; and be it further.
Resolved, that the 196th Diocesan Convention reaffirms the action of the 75th General Convention of The Episcopal Church in opposition to any state or federal constitutional amendment that prohibits same-sex civil marriage or civil unions.
The Right Reverend Michael Curry, bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of North Carolina, also vocally opposed Amendment One both before and after its passage. His comments are included in the videos here.