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Jul 29, 2014

TODAY: ACLU to Discuss Next Steps in Challenges to North Carolina Marriage Ban

Press Conference at Noon in Raleigh

MEDIA CONTACT: Mike Meno, ACLU of North Carolina, 919-834-3466 (office), 919-348-9623 (cell), or mmeno@acluofnc.org

RALEIGH, N.C. (July 29, 2014) – Attorneys and plaintiffs in two federal lawsuits challenging North Carolina’s ban on marriage for same-sex couples will speak at a press conference in Raleigh today about the next steps in those lawsuits after the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit on Monday declared that Virginia’s ban on marriage for same-sex couples is unconstitutional.

WHAT: Press conference to discuss next steps in two American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) lawsuits challenging North Carolina’s ban on marriage for same-sex couples

WHO: Chris Brook, Legal Director for the ACLU of North Carolina, and plaintiffs seeking the freedom to marry in North Carolina

WHEN: 12 noon, Tuesday, July 29, 2014

WHERE: LGBT Center of Raleigh, 324 S. Harrington St., Raleigh, NC 27603

The ACLU and ACLU of North Carolina Legal Foundation have filed two federal lawsuits challenging North Carolina’s ban on marriage for same-sex couples, both in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of North Carolina in Greensboro. The first, Fisher-Borne et al. v. Smith, was filed in July 2013 as an amended complaint to a 2012 lawsuit challenging North Carolina’s ban on second parent adoptions on behalf of six families across the state headed by same-sex couples. On April 9, 2014, the ACLU filed a second federal lawsuit, Gerber and Berlin et al. v. Cooper, on behalf of three married, same-sex couples seeking state recognition of their marriages. Because of the serious medical condition of one member of each couple, they are asking the court to take swift action.

Monday’s ruling marked the second time that an appellate-level court has ruled on state marriage bans following the dismantling of a key section of the federal "Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA)," and sets the stage for the Supreme Court to consider state-level laws.

The Fourth Circuit includes Virginia, West Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Maryland, the only state in the circuit that allows same-sex couples to marry. The precedent from Monday's ruling applies to all of these states.

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