Federal Judge Cogburn strikes down same-sex marriage ban in UCC case in Western District

Shortly after Judge Osteen gave plaintiffs until Monday to respond to intervention of legislative leaders in one same-sex marriage case in Greensboro, a federal judge in the Western District struck down a same-sex marriage ban in a case brought by the United Church of Christ and has denied legislative leaders’ request for intervention. QNotes reports:

A federal judge in North Carolina’s Western District has issued an order permanently prohibiting defendants in a United Church of Christ lawsuit against North Carolina’s anti-LGBT amendment from enforcing the ban. Additionally, the judge denied Republican state leaders’ motion to intervene in the case.

U.S. District Court Judge Max O. Cogburn, Jr., issued his two orders shortly after 5 p.m.

“Defendants are PERMANENTLY ENJOINED from enforcing such laws to the extent these laws prohibit a person from marrying another person of the same gender, prohibit recognition of same-sex marriages lawfully solemnized in other States, Territories, or a District of the United States, or seek to punish in any way clergy or other officiants who solemnize the union of same-sex couples,” Cogburn wrote.

More from QNotes


Equality NC has information for LGBTQ couples looking to get married here:


Judge gives noon Friday deadline to GOP for legal arguments in N.C. same-sex marriage case

Thursday night after Tillis and Berger filed a motion seeking 8 days to compile legal arguments against marriage equality, Chief U.S. District Court Judge William Osteen Jr. denied the legislators’ request for delay, giving them instead a deadline of noon Friday to lay out their case. WRAL reports:

Chief U.S. District Court Judge William Osteen Jr. set a noon Friday deadline for them to lay out their legal arguments in the case, rejecting their request to delay any decision in the matter until at least Oct. 17.
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Tillis, Berger meet Federal judge’s 5 p.m. deadline for GOP to intervene in N.C. same-sex marriage cases

With Attorney General Roy Cooper refusing to defend Amendment One in the courts, Tillis and Berger have formally filed to intervene, retaining John Eastman of the National Organization for Marriage as primary counsel and meeting a 5 p.m. deadline for action set by a federal judge.

Qnotes reports:

Republican leaders in North Carolina submitted their motion to intervene in two same-sex marriage cases shortly after 4 p.m., meeting a Greensboro, N.C., federal judge’s 5 p.m. deadline.

U.S. District Court Judge WIlliam Osteen released his order shortly after 3 p.m., dismissing all defendants with the exception of Attorney General Roy Cooper, who has already said he will no longer defend the anti-LGBT constitutional amendment passed by voters in May 2012.


In a motion filed late Thursday evening, Tillis’ and Berger’s attorneys asked Osteen to give them eight additional days — up to Oct. 17 — to submit arguments against legalizing same-sex marriage.

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“It is a crying shame the way the poor and elderly are being treated”


Recent budget proposals out of the NCGA will eliminate Medicaid coverage for nearly 12,000 elderly blind or disabled people, cut $1 million from a popular program that delivers meals and provides in-home health services to the elderly, and shut down several regional offices of the state’s child-developmental services agencies that help babies and toddlers with disabilities.

One submission to N.C. Policy Watch’s “Your Soapbox” feature laments the difficulty in getting help even before the the proposed cuts.

I lost my insurance coverage under COBRA. I went for a year without insurance coverage. I didn’t qualify for Medicaid since I had over $2500.00 in the State Retirement system.

I had to fight tooth and nail to get help. Every way I went was a dead end. I was finally able to get help through Pender County for medical and meds.

It is a crying shame the way the poor and elderly are being treated; it’s like the legislature wants them to die.

Read the full submisson here.


Do you have a story to tell? We want to hear more from people and their families who stand to be affected by the massive cuts proposed by our legislative leaders to Medicaid and other health and human services programs that serve the poor, disabled and elderly. What are your experiences? Tell us your story using this submission form.

To read personal stories from others affected by the cuts, click here.


Cuts to Medicaid negatively impact independent living for populations with disabilities, says concerned mother

Recent proposed cuts under the state Senate budget not only affect programs and services for older adults, they also impact North Carolina’s population with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, says one concerned mother.

David Maennle at work with Graham County EMS as part of the maintenance crew following his graduation from a post-secondary education program. His education was made possible by Medicaid waiver services he received. Maennle hopes to be an EMT someday.

David Maennle at work with Graham County EMS as part of the maintenance crew following his graduation from a post-secondary education program. His education was made possible by Medicaid waiver services he received. Maennle hopes to be an EMT someday.

David is fulfilling every dream I formulated for him. He has a vision for his future. He is happy, healthy and a contributing member of his community. He is a success story! And his success story is a success for the State of N.C. and the Medicaid budget! How do I know this? Because I am a bean counter by trade, and so I researched the cost of David’s current NC Innovations Plan as compared to the cost to Medicaid if he were warehoused in a group home and a sheltered workshop. He languished one year in a workshop, and while he had been mostly independent before he went there, he suddenly needed full supervision with hand-over-hand assistance in the workshop. This allowed the workshop to bill Medicaid for each hour he was at the facility. In addition, while there, he lost important social and communication skills, gained weight and was unhappy and lonely. The cost of this placement per year exceeded his current placement by $100,000 annually.

Without appropriate support such as what he is getting currently, he will lose his employment and daily living assistance which keeps him healthy, active and contributing. He will become more dependent and will end up costing the system much more. Our legislators, once again, are taking a short-term view of a long-range issue, and they will, in effect, take the opportunity of persons with I/DD back 50 years! In addition, this will end up costing the state much much more than supporting these persons today!

Click here to read the rest of David’s story.

The Senate’s DHHS budget proposal will eliminate Medicaid coverage for 12,000 elderly, blind and disabled people; cut state funding for school nurses; slash nearly $1 million from a Home and Community Care Block Grant that offers in-home services to poor older North Carolinians; among other significant cuts.

Read more about the personal experiences of those who stand to be affected and their families on NC Policy Watch’s “Your Soapbox” feature.

Do you have a story to share? We want to hear from you. Tell us about your experiences using the submission form here.