same sex marriage


With “Pride Month” celebrations, Hendersonville, and North Carolina, inch forward

BY: - June 17, 2019

Hard to imagine we’d be here in this day, in this time, in this place. The Charlotte Observer contributed a timely, if slight, feature this weekend, an exploration of rural Hendersonville’s nascent “Pride” celebration, yet another marker of North Carolina’s quiet LGBTQ revolution. The word “revolution” is appropriate, with support for same-sex marriage surging to […]


Editorial: NBA All-Star Game returns, but has N.C. really changed?

BY: - February 15, 2019

What a difference three years makes, or does it? As a new Charlotte Observer editorial points out, the NBA All-Star Game returns to North Carolina’s largest city this weekend, roughly three years after the state legislature’s ultra-offensive HB2 derailed league leaders’ plans to hold their annual festivities in Charlotte. But has North Carolina, and more […]

Federal court dismisses lawsuit over religious magistrates allowed to refuse performing same-sex marriages

BY: - June 28, 2017

The 4th Circuit Court of Appeals on Wednesday upheld the GOP’s Senate Bill 2, a law that allows North Carolina magistrates to refuse to perform same-sex marriages based on their religious beliefs. A three-judge panel from the Richmond-based court dismissed Ansley v. Warren because the couples who brought the suit did not have standing as […]

Four Republicans introduce bill to outlaw gay marriage in NC, return to ‘decree of Almighty God’

BY: - April 12, 2017

If it were up to four white, Republican male lawmakers, same-sex marriage would be banned in North Carolina. In fact, they’ve introduced a bill to do just that, despite a 2015 U.S. Supreme Court ruling to the contrary. Obergefell v. Hodges be damned — House Bill 780 states not only that the highest court in the nation […]

Charlotte Catholic School teacher fired for same-sex marriage announcement files federal suit

BY: - January 11, 2017

Lonnie Billard taught drama and English at Charlotte Catholic High School for more than a decade before he was fired in 2014 for announcing his nuptials to his longtime same-sex partner on Facebook. He filed a federal lawsuit today that claims his firing violates the Civil Rights Act. Billard is being represented by the American Civil Liberties Union and the […]

Meet the American College of Pediatricians

BY: - September 1, 2016

Yesterday we published a story about the state’s reliance on the vice president of the American College of Pediatricians for expert testimony in the lawsuit over HB2. The group’s name certainly makes them sound like an above-board and by-the-book group of physicians concerned with sound science. But scratch the surface and you find the group is […]


Another victory for equality: U.S. Supreme Court slaps down Alabama anti-gay adoption ruling

BY: - March 8, 2016

Another day, another encouraging decision from the U.S. Supreme Court on the issue of same sex marriage equality. Zack Ford at Think Progress reports on the latest development: The U.S. Supreme Court has once again weighed in on the legality of same-sex relationships. On Monday, the Court issued a summary decision reversing the Alabama Supreme […]

Magistrates who jumped the gun on same-sex marriage recusal law want Supreme Court review

BY: - January 11, 2016

Two state magistrates who resigned from their jobs rather than perform same-sex marriages, citing religious objections, have asked the state Supreme Court to bypass the Court of Appeals and directly review a trial court order dismissing their lawsuit against the Administrative Office of the Courts seeking reappointment and damages. The magistrates, Thomas Holland of Graham County and Gerald […]

Magistrate recusal law lands in federal court

BY: - December 9, 2015

Nearly six months and 32 recalcitrant magistrates later, three couples have sued the state in federal court, challenging the law that allows magistrates to refuse to perform marriages based upon a self-professed religious objection to same-sex marriage. In the lawsuit, filed in Asheville and assigned to U.S. District Judge Max O. Cogburn, Jr., the couples allege that […]


Editorial: Magistrates same-sex marriage opt-out law is unconstitutional

BY: - December 9, 2015

This morning’s lead editorial in the Charlotte Observer hits a home run with its take on North Carolina’s discriminatory law that allows magistrates to opt out of marrying couples when to do so violates their “religious beliefs” and a new lawsuit being launched to challenge it. Here’s the Observer: “The complaint to be filed Wednesday […]

Running up the legal tab in the same-sex marriage cases

BY: - October 23, 2015

Add another $45,000 to the tab that legislative leaders ran up in attorneys fees and costs chasing their same-sex marriage opposition in the courts,  even in the face of rulings rejecting marriage bans as unconstitutional. In addition to the fees and costs incurred by the leaders’ own attorneys, taxpayers will now also be on the hook for […]

Updated: SCOTUS denies Kentucky clerk relief from performing marriage duties

BY: - August 31, 2015

In a one-sentence order and without dissent, the U.S. Supreme Court late yesterday denied a request by a Kentucky county clerk for a stay of orders requiring her to perform marriages as part of her job duties, pending her appeal on the merits to the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. The Rowan County Clerk, […]