Church Sues N.C. to Perform Gay Marriage

The leadership body of the United Church of Christ joined a lawsuit on Monday suing North Carolina for the right to perform same-sex marriages. This is the first time the First Amendment's freedom of religion protections have been used in a lawsuit challenging a same-sex marriage ban. The clergy argue that in banning gay marriages, the state is violating their right to freely exercise religion. Rev. Joe Hoffman of First Congregational United Church of Christ in Asheville said “My denomination authorizes me to perform these ceremonies,” but the state ban “denies my religious freedom by prohibiting me from exercising this right.”