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Reform rabbis join suit fighting N.C.’s same-sex marriage ban

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NEW YORK (JTA) — The Reform movement’s Central Conference of American Rabbis joined a lawsuit against North Carolina’s ban on same-sex marriages.

The lawsuit, which was filed April 28 by the United Church of Christ and several same-sex couples, alleges that North Carolina’s Amendment One and other state laws make it illegal for clergy to officiate at a same-sex marriage. Other religious groups, including the Baptists and the All Souls Episcopal Cathedral, have joined the suit.

The CCAR is the lone Jewish organization listed as a plaintiff in the case; several individual Reform rabbis are on the list of plaintiffs.

Unlike a suit lodged by the American Civil Liberties Union in 2012 demanding due process of the law, which was stayed on June 2, the current suit contends that the ban on gay marriage is a violation of religious freedom. Amendment One was approved by North Carolina voters in May 2012.

“The CCAR’s support for full civil and religious rights for gays and lesbians is based on the Torah’s assertion that every person is created in God’s image and deserves dignity, equality and respect,” said CCAR President Rabbi Richard Block in a news release.

In 2000, the CCAR expressed its formal support for clergy members officiating at Jewish same-sex weddings. The group offers educational and liturgical resources for rabbis conducting such weddings.

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