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Lawsuit seeks to overturn NC same-sex marriage ban

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By MITCH WEISS
Associated Press

Photo: AP Photo/The Asheville Citizen-Times/ Erin Brethauer
Photo: AP Photo/The Asheville Citizen-Times/ Erin Brethauer

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Some clergy members are filing a lawsuit challenging North Carolina’s constitutional ban on gay marriage, saying it violates their religious freedom.

The clergy members say they would like to perform same-sex marriage ceremonies in their congregations, but can’t because of the law.

The lawsuit filed Monday in federal court in Charlotte includes a dozen clergy members and the United Church of Christ, which has more than 1 million members.

Their attorney, Jake Sussman, says the lawsuit opens a new front in marriage equality litigation.

The Rev. J. Bennett Guess says the ban has made is difficult for clergy members to marry same-sex couples: If they do, they know they’ll be breaking the law.

Seventeen states allow gay marriage and federal judges have struck down bans in four states.

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Associated Press

The Associated Press is an American multinational nonprofit news agency headquartered in New York City.

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