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« Some of the news that's fit to print | Main | Haggard by Hayes »

Apr 29, 2014


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Yep, I am all for religious freedom except when it conflicts with my beliefs. Again, let's tell people what they cannot do instead of providing to all the option to do what they want to do so long as it does not infringe on my legal rights or cause harm to others.


I'm already hearing blowback along the lines of, "If the UCC is so concerned about free expression, then why isn't it standing alongside Hobby Lobby?"

God, I wish stupid were painful.


"One of the heinous things about Amendment One is that it took away that religious freedom, too. "

No it didn't. The law you speak of has been on the books for decades before Amendment One and it does not criminalize same-sex marriages. It applies only to legal marriages that are referenced (and have been for decades) in other portions of the statutes. It does not apply to same-sex marriages because they are null and void under state law, thus not falling within the definition of acts to which the criminal penalty applies.

Just like the noise about Amendment One weakening domestic violence laws- don't believe the hype.

Any reasonable judge will conclude that the penalty is not applicable to same-sex marriages and dismiss this suit. That is unless the judge puts on the activist robe and makes the novel pronouncement that something that has never been a crime has suddenly become one decades after its passage. That would require that kind of judge to ignore all of the language in the surrounding, cross-referenced statutes as well as history.

But I suppose that there are some who are hoping that a judge will declare same-sex marriages a crime. Otherwise, there is no case. Isn't it ironic?

Ed Cone

Sam,you know more about the law and the reading of lawsuits than I do, and we all know that lawsuits by design make only one side of an argument, but the document argues that Amendment One is relevant because it enshrines the definition of marriage in the constitution. Also, when you say penalties only apply to violations of rules around "legal marriages," you're saying that penalties for solemnizing marriages held without proper licenses don't apply to marriages for which no licenses are legally available?

Andrew Brod

Yes, that's what he's saying.

In any case, Spag's opinion of this lawsuit, which he's also expressed at length on Facebook, carries with it a strong prediction. If it's as cut-and-dried as he claims, this suit will be dismissed, and fast. If it is, then we'll have to admit he was right. But if it isn't, then...

Well, then he'll just complain about liberal judges.


I never said it would be "fast" Andrew. I've been in too many simple cases that took much longer that they should have to make that prediction.


Amendment One did not change the definition of marriage, it merely prevented the legislature from changing the existing one. The prohibition and declaration that same-sex marriages were void existed before Amendment One.
The statutes in question with this suit also pre-date Amendment One and clearly refer to the improper performance of a legally recognized marriage, not void marriages which can’t be improperly performed because there is no criteria for their performance because they are null.

Regarding the case- a few things to consider:

1) Plaintiffs are going to search for the most liberal judge in a safe Democratic district who can afford to jump through hurdles and ignore plain meaning to reach a political result without retribution. (Hey, I did my part! Wink ! Wink !).

2) Attorney General Roy Cooper is an opponent of Amendment One, yet he has to defend this law which could have the effect of reversing Amendment One if the aforementioned judge does his/her job. Cooper could conceivably acquiesce in the selection of the judge and also put forth only a nominal defense instead of the obvious, common-sense and historical defense with the hope that he LOSES the case. (Hey, I did my part! Wink ! Wink !). This would provide cover for Cooper with the Left and also allow him to argue in a general election that it wasn’t his fault that Court ruled against him.

3) If the Plaintiffs were to win, there is no way that an appellate court in this state will uphold that ruling, especially when amicus brief's are permitted that will make the obvious very obvious whether Cooper does or not.

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