General Synod of the United Church of Christ v. Cooper*; Consolidated with Fisher-Borne v. Smith and Gerber v. Cooper

Nature of Claims: 
Seeking only the freedom to marry for unmarried same-sex couples
Arnold & Porter LLC; Tin Fulton Walker & Owen

Filed 4/28/14.  Includes free exercise of religion and expressive association claims on behalf of church and clergy plaintiffs, as well as due process and equal protection claims on behalf of same-sex couple plaintiffs.  Plaintiffs simultaneously filed a motion or a preliminary injunction.  On 5/27/14, Defendants filed a motion to stay pending the 4th Circuit’s decision in Bostic v. Schaefer.  On 6/3/14, plaintiffs filed an amended complaint.  On 6/10/14, defendants filed responses to the motion for a preliminary injunction.  On 6/13/14, plaintiffs filed an opposition to the motion for a stay.  On 6/20/14, plaintiffs filed their reply brief on their motion for a preliminary injunction.  On 6/24/24, defendants filed their reply in support of their motion for a stay.  On 7/1/14, plaintiffs filed a request for oral argument of the preliminary injunction and stay motions.  On 7/18/14, defendants filed a response in opposition to the motion for oral argument.  On 8/12/14, the court stayed this case.  On 8/25/14, the court issued a further order staying the proceedings pending the Supreme Court’s disposition of the cert. petition in Bostic.  On 9/8/14, plaintiffs filed a motion to lift the stay.   On 9/24/14 and 9/26/14, defendants filed responses to this motion; replies to these responses were filed 10/6/14.  On 10/10/14, the court granted plaintiffs’ motion, ruling that North Carolina’s ban on marriage by same-sex couples is unconstitutional, and enjoining its enforcement.  Same-sex couples may now marry in the state.  The appeal by Thigpen and Tillis was docketed 11/10/15.  The appeal was been consolidated with Fisher-Borne and Gerber cases on 12/10/14.  (See entries for that case, which applies equally to this case.) 

Friday, January 16, 2015