RALEIGH, N.C. — The American Civil Liberties Union is launching a new legal assault on North Carolina’s constitutional ban on marriage for same-sex couples.
The group said Wednesday that it is urging a federal judge to quickly negate the state ban to help children as well as gay couples suffering from urgent health problems and struggling with insurance and other restrictions.
The suit, filed on behalf of three married, same-sex couples, seeks state recognition of their marriages. Because of the serious medical condition of one member of each couple, they are asking the court to take swift action.
ACLU staff attorney Elizabeth Gill says the argument is similar to an Ohio case brought by a gay couple in which one man was terminally ill. A federal judge last year ordered Ohio to recognize out-of-state gay marriages on death certificates.
Article continues belowThe ACLU has also sought immediate relief on behalf of one of the couples in the existing Fisher-Borne et al. v. Smith case who have a young child who is being denied critical medical care because North Carolina neither recognizes his mothers’ marriage nor allows both mothers to adopt their child and establish a legal relationship.
North Carolina‘s ban on marriage for same-sex couples prevents the plaintiff couples from securing hundreds of protections provided in both state and federal law to married couples, said the ACLU, in a statement.
“If one member of the couple were to die before the state recognizes their marriage, the surviving spouse will be forever denied not only these protections but the dignity that respect from the state affords, such as having one’s relationship acknowledged forever on a death certificate.”
Follow this case: Gerber v. Cooper.
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