Activist Judges Overturning Gay Marriage Bans

The Rev. Franklin Graham. (Nell Redmond/EPA/Landov)

The Rev. Franklin Graham. (Nell Redmond/EPA/Landov)

The Rev. Franklin Graham said Monday that "activist judges" are to blame in the legalization of gay marriage.

Graham, son of the Rev. Billy Graham and CEO of Samaritan's Purse and the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, was specifically referring to his home state of North Carolina. Sixty-one percent of the state's residents, according to the Christian Post, were against same-sex marriages but a federal judge in the state recently overturned the ban on the practice anyway.

"It's sad when a judge is able to overrule the will of the people," Graham told WCNC Charlotte, an NBC affiliate, on Monday. "This is a democracy, and the people spoke, and we're seeing that activist judges across the country are overturning the will of the people. We saw that in California. We're now seeing it here in North Carolina now. I don't know what will take place."

Last Friday, U.S. District Court Judge Max O. Cogburn Jr. struck down North Carolina's ban on gay marriage, a move that followed the Supreme Court's announcement that it would not hear appeals regarding the legalization of gay marriage.

"The court determines that North Carolina's laws prohibiting same-sex marriage are unconstitutional as a matter of law," Cogburn wrote in his ruling. "The issue before this court is neither a political issue nor a moral issue. It is a legal issue and it is clear as a matter of what is now settled law in the Fourth Circuit that North Carolina laws prohibiting same sex marriage, refusing to recognize same sex marriages originating elsewhere, and/or threatening to penalize those who would solemnize such marriages, are unconstitutional."
Cogburn was appointed to his position by President Barack Obama.

"LGBT families in North Carolina will now be treated as equal under the law in North Carolina — a day that so many have fought so hard for," said the Rev. Jasmine Beach-Ferrara, executive director of the Campaign for Southern Equality, after Friday's ruling. "We celebrate knowing that this shameful chapter in North Carolina's history has passed. At the same time we know that you can still be fired simply for being gay in North Carolina. Protection from discrimination in the workplace is the next step in our push for full equality."


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