By M.H. Cavanaugh
Christian Action League
October 17, 2014
GREENSBORO – On Tuesday, US Chief Justice William Osteen in Greensboro was the second federal judge to overturn North Carolina’s marriage protection amendment as unconstitutional. US District Judge Max O. Cogburn in Asheville had made the same ruling Friday afternoon, October 10th, ushering gay marriage into the Tar Heel state.
Both Judges based their rulings on the Bostic v. Schaefer decision of the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals, which struck down Virginia’s marriage amendment. North Carolina falls under the 4th Circuit’s jurisdiction. The Judges contended that the appellate court’s ruling must apply since the US Supreme Court decided not to review same-sex marriage rulings affecting Virginia and four other states.
What differed, however, about Osteen’s ruling was he granted something Cogburn had denied. North Carolina’s state Attorney General, Roy Cooper had chosen not to defend the state’s marriage amendment. Nevertheless, Osteen allowed NC Senate President Pro-Tempore, Phil Berger, and Speaker of the House, Thom Tillis, to intervene. Osteen’s ruling “conceded that Plaintiffs are entitled to certain relief.”
“We’re back in the game,” Dr. Mark Creech, executive director of the Christian Action League, said in a Facebook Post. “Osteen’s ruling makes it possible for the state’s legislative leadership to appeal Osteen’s and Cogburn’s decisions to the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals, possibly even the US Supreme Court. They could also ask for a stay on same-sex marriages in North Carolina. Osteen’s decision keeps hope alive. We’ve got to do everything to keep the possibility for the recovery of real marriage going,” he said.
Legal experts contend chances of success for a marriage case before the 4th Circuit seem unlikely. Nevertheless, others rightly claim that where state marriage amendments have been egregiously knocked down by a runaway federal judiciary, those states should keep fighting.
John Rustin of the North Carolina Family Policy Council recently noted that “it appears what is needed for the US Supreme Court to take up the issue of marriage is for another federal appeals court in another circuit to issue a ruling that upholds marriage as the union of one man and one woman.” “Cases are currently pending in the Fifth, Sixth, Eighth, and Eleventh Circuits,” he said.
Thursday, John Eastman, a California law professor and chairman of the National Organization for Marriage, said Berger and Tillis would file their appeal within 30 days. Eastman has been hired by the legislative leadership to defend the state’s marriage amendment. No word was available as to whether there would also be a motion for a stay on marriage licenses being granted to same-sex couples.
“In the mean-time, we’re stuck with gay marriage. Moreover, we could be stuck with it for good. That’s why churches need to do what they can to protect their religious liberties,” said Dr. Creech.
Dr. Creech referenced documents recently posted on the League’s website and urged churches to access them. “It is nothing less than naïve to think gay activists will be satisfied with redefining marriage. Their pattern indicates their ultimate goal is to humiliate and silence all opposition. Churches should move decisively to protect their spiritual objectives, but with careful deliberation to also be open to minister to all,” he said.
Same Sex Marriage is Here, Protect Your Church’s Religious Liberties – click here
See Related Stories posted this week:
Statement Regarding Same-Sex Marriage Ruling by North Carolina Lieutenant Governor, Dan Forest