Judge: GOP can intervene in gay marriage cases

Posted October 14, 2014

Same-sex couples continued to marry at the Wake County Courthouse and in Nash Park on Monday, Oct. 13, 2014, the first full day that gay marriage was legal in North Carolina.

— Republican lawmakers can intervene in a pair of challenges to North Carolina's now-defunct gay marriage ban, potentially enabling them to appeal the issue to the U.S. Supreme Court, a federal judge ruled Tuesday.

Chief U.S. District Court Judge William Osteen Jr. issued an order granting requests by House Speaker Thom Tillis and Senate leader Phil Berger seeking to intervene in the cases. Osteen's order follows a separate ruling Friday by U.S. District Court Judge Max O. Cogburn Jr. declaring the ban unconstitutional, triggering a rush of joyful same-sex couples getting legally married.

Osteen agreed with Cogburn that a July ruling by the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Virginia required that North Carolina's ban must be struck down. However, he differed on whether the Republican leaders should be allowed to enter the cases. The state's Democratic attorney general has concluded any further defense of the prohibition would be futile.

Tillis, who is currently campaigning for the U.S. Senate, has been a vocal supporter of the ban approved by state voters in 2012.

"In reaching this conclusion, this court is not expressing an opinion on the relative merits or demerits of any appeal, only that there is an appeal right that a party with arguable standing and interest has sought to preserve," wrote Osteen, who was appointed to the bench by President George W. Bush.

Both sides claimed victory following Osteen's ruling.

“Today’s ruling recognizes that the more than 60 percent of North Carolina voters who define marriage as between one man and one woman deserve their day in court, and this decision is an important step to ensure their voice is heard," Senate President Pro Tem Phil Berger said in a statement.

"Judge Osteen’s ruling is the second in five days to declare North Carolina’s ban on marriage for same-sex couples to be unconstitutional,” Chris Brook, legal director for the ACLU of North Carolina, said in a statement. “The legislature can attempt to pursue an appeal if they so choose; however, that would only unnecessarily expend taxpayer resources. North Carolinians can rest assured: the freedom to marry is here to stay.”


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  • Freda Kerr Oct 16, 2014
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    Your argument is laughable, especially considering that some religions expect all sex to be for procreational purposes only (which is how animals do it).

    We sentient humans have established that actions that go against the free will and consent of another are wrong and immoral. Having an emotional and physical attraction to a consenting same sex adult, and wanting to establish a long term relationship is not just a "wild and instinctual" act.

  • Hubris Oct 15, 2014

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    Thank you for such a logical argument. That says it all!

  • Joseph Shepard Oct 15, 2014
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    "That homosexuality is found in nature is well documented. The studies are available for anyone who is interested in an honest discussion of this particular issue.

    Read more at http://www.wral.com/share/page/1896337/?id=14078411#F1Pu45pTyjMRoqK7.99 KNOWSITALL:
    It seems as if you are reducing rational, sentient human beings to the level of wild instinctual animals in the wild, and that since wild animals engage in homosexuality that is somehow a valid,unarguable justification for humans to engage in homosexuality., Some species of wild animals kill and eat their young. Other species completely abandon their young upon birth and leave them to survive or die on their own. Based upon your logic, it would be completely "normal" for humans to do the same.

  • 31575 Oct 15, 2014

    Yes, Merrywidow, thank you. I only wish I could express, here in words, how really grateful I and my husband are for your outstanding comment.

  • xylem01 Oct 15, 2014

    MERRYWIDOW - I am sincerely sorry for your loss. I also want to commend you for your moral compass which is right on the mark! And most of all, thank you for standing up to those that wish to refute other human being's rights.

    Have a wonderful day.

  • Freda Kerr Oct 15, 2014
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    Can anyone say for sure your gut instinct is that this lifestyle is morally correct?Yes, I can! My late husband and I are hetero. We raised our daughter in a hetero household. Our daughter is gay. She did not choose to be gay, it is her state of being. She is working on her PhD while working full time. She is a loving, compassionate, hard working, tax paying woman. She doesn't lie, steal, torture or kill. There is NOTHING morally repugnant about her life.

    Religions and their deities cannot be definitively substantiated as valid and real: there is no proof that one particular religion's deity is the true god. The only thing we can truly know is ourselves and our relationships to each other. Any action that goes against the free will and consent of another is immoral. That is where "morality" lies. Belief in a deity or it's supposed sayings/text is not necessary.

  • 31575 Oct 15, 2014

    Tom Tillis and Phil Berger are making fools of themselves and their taking the whole GOP with them. This stunt is only going to lead to an even larger perception that the GOP is behind the times and is a party of hate. Regardless of the outcome of this trial, he will lose all credibility within the party and will be blacklisted.

  • Pepe Silvia Oct 15, 2014

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    Humans are, in fact, animals, for starters.

    To answer your question, yes, my gut instinct is a loving relationship between two adults is always morally correct.

  • dwntwnboy2 Oct 15, 2014

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    -it's as "morally" correct as any other relationship out there. Wanting to build a life together, possibly raise children and make their communities and country a better place ARE moral ideals, and they are ones shared by both gays and straights.

  • Robert Richardson Oct 15, 2014
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    Don't wait for an answer we all know will not be coming.