Rabbis join suit fighting NC’s same-sex marriage ban
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Rabbis join suit fighting NC’s same-sex marriage ban

Reform movement's Central Conference sole Jewish organization listed as plaintiff in case against state

Illustrative photo. Gay rights supporter waving a rainbow flag outside the US Supreme Court building in Washington following its ruling expanding gay rights, June 26, 2013. (Win McNamee/Getty Images via JTA)
Illustrative photo. Gay rights supporter waving a rainbow flag outside the US Supreme Court building in Washington following its ruling expanding gay rights, June 26, 2013. (Win McNamee/Getty Images via JTA)

The Reform movement’s Central Conference of American Rabbis joined a lawsuit against North Carolina’s ban on same-sex marriages.

The lawsuit, which was filed April 28 by the United Church of Christ and several same-sex couples, alleges that North Carolina’s Amendment One and other state laws make it illegal for clergy to officiate at a same-sex marriage. Other religious groups, including the Baptists and the All Souls Episcopal Cathedral, have joined the suit.

The CCAR is the lone Jewish organization listed as a plaintiff in the case; several individual Reform rabbis are on the list of plaintiffs.

Unlike a suit lodged by the American Civil Liberties Union in 2012 demanding due process of the law, which was stayed on June 2, the current suit contends that the ban on gay marriage is a violation of religious freedom. Amendment One was approved by North Carolina voters in May 2012.

“The CCAR’s support for full civil and religious rights for gays and lesbians is based on the Torah’s assertion that every person is created in God’s image and deserves dignity, equality and respect,” said CCAR President Rabbi Richard Block in a news release.

In 2000, the CCAR expressed its formal support for clergy members officiating at Jewish same-sex weddings. The group offers educational and liturgical resources for rabbis conducting such weddings.

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