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Lawsuit Seeks To Overturn NC Same-Sex Marriage Ban

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(Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

(Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Some clergy members are filing a lawsuit challenging North Carolina’s constitutional ban on gay marriage, saying it violates their religious freedom.

The clergy members say they would like to perform same-sex marriage ceremonies in their congregations, but can’t because of the law.

The lawsuit filed Monday in federal court in Charlotte includes a dozen clergy members and the United Church of Christ, which has more than 1 million members.

Their attorney, Jake Sussman, says the lawsuit opens a new front in marriage equality litigation.

The Rev. J. Bennett Guess says the ban has made is difficult for clergy members to marry same-sex couples: If they do, they know they’ll be breaking the law.

Seventeen states allow gay marriage and federal judges have struck down bans in four states.

(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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