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Oct 14, 2014

Equality NC Responds to Second Ruling Striking Down Marriage Ban

RALEIGH, N.C. (October 14, 2014) -- A federal judge in Greensboro, N.C., has ruled that North Carolina’s marriage amendment is unconstitutional, but will also allow the state’s top Republican legislative leaders to intervene in their continuing effort to defend the constitutional ban.

Republican state House Speaker Thom Tillis (r.) and Senate President Pro Tem Phil Berger have vowed to continue fighting to uphold the amendment and have hired attorneys with close ties to a national anti-LGBT organization known for its opposition to LGBT marriage equality.

U.S. District Court Judge William Osteen issued his order Tuesday afternoon, following fellow federal Judge Max Cogbburn’s ruling on Friday overturning the amendment and opening legal marriage to same-gender couples across the state.

Equality NC immediately responded to the ruling, assuring same-sex couples statewide that marriage equality remains "the law of the land" and deriding the GOP leadership's continued waste of taxpayer dollars.

"We want to make it perfectly clear to tens of thousands of loving, same-gender families as well as supporters of equality statewide, that today's decision by U.S. District Court Judge William Osteen is in direct accord with Friday's ruling that found Amendment One unconstitutional, and reaffirms that the freedom to marry is the law of the land in North Carolina," said Chris Sgro, executive director of Equality NC.

"Osteen's decision to allow the state's Republican leaders Thom Tillis and Phil Berger to appeal the ruling sheds harsh light on Tillis and Berger's willingness to waste precious tax payer dollars in a futile effort to defend an unconstitutional law. Make no mistake, Amendment One is dead. We know it. Our courts know it. Our Attorney General knows it. And our Governor knows it. And no amount of spending our money to play politics with North Carolina families will resurrect it."

ABOUT EQUALITY NC: Equality NC is the statewide organization working to secure equal rights and justice for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender North Carolinians.

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