New Legal Case Challenges Anti-LGBT Law in North CarolinaBy Adam Polaski • December 9, 2015 • 11:16 am
Today, December 9, in a case led by Equality NC and the Campaign for Southern Equality, six plaintiffs filed a federal lawsuit challenging Senate Bill 2, the North Carolina law passed in defiance of federal court orders that struck down North Carolina’s law denying the freedom to marry to same-sex couples and declared that marriage is a fundamental right for gay and lesbian citizens. SB2 allows North Carolina magistrates, who take an oath to uphold and apply the U.S. Constitution, to assert their religious views rather than follow the law.
The case, Ansley v. North Carolina, was filed today, with a press conference announcing the lawsuit held in Charlotte, NC at 10:00am.
Of course, the freedom of religion is one of the most fundamental rights in the United States – it’s enshrined in our Constitution and reflected in laws across the land – and it’s not up for debate. But religious refusal bills like Senate Bill 2 allow individuals to use their religious beliefs to harm others, paving the way for challenges to virtually any law, including laws designed to protect all of us from various forms of discrimination.This undermines another important value we all cherish – treating others as we ourselves would like to be treated.
— Southern Equality (@CSElive) December 9, 2015
— Equality NC (@equalitync) December 9, 2015
Chris Sgro, Executive Director of Equality NC, said today: “SB2 is unconstitutional and does not represent the values of inclusion on which North Carolina was built. It targets same-sex couples directly for discrimination and in the process also restricts access to taxpayer-funded government services for all North Carolinians.”
Rev. Jasmine Beach-Ferrara, Executive Director of the Campaign for Southern Equality, added: “This law distorts the true meaning of religious freedom. From the day it was proposed, it is clear that SB2 is about one thing and one thing only – finding a new way to discriminate against same-sex couples. We will keep standing up to discrimination until LGBT people are equal in every sphere of life.”