Plaintiffs are three North Carolina families. In each family, the adults are loving, committed same-sex couples who seek to have their legal out-of-state marriages recognized as lawful marriages in North Carolina. In addition, one couple is raising a child together, and seeks to ensure that both his parents have legally recognized parent-child relationships. Because North Carolina law does not respect their legal marriages, and in the case of the family raising a child, bars one parent from legalizing her relationship with her child, plaintiffs bring this suit alleging violations of the U.S. Constitution. 2.
Plaintiffs Berlin, Blackburn, and Mejia have serious, life-threatening medical issues that make it likely that they and their families will suffer irreparable harm unless the state recognizes their legal out-of-state marriages. There is also an imminent risk of potential harm to child plaintiff J.G.-M.. 3.
The adult plaintiffs seek to have their marriages from other jurisdictions recognized in North Carolina because of the numerous financial, psychological and social benefits that flow from a legally recognized marriage. Having their out-of-state marriages recognized by North Carolina will address the regular deprivations and indignities
economic, psychological and otherwise
the adult plaintiffs face each day. 4.
Because of the gender and sexual orientation of the adult plaintiffs, they are denied the freedom to marry in North Carolina, and their out-of-state marriages are deemed invalid by North Caroli
na law, which specifies that the plaintiffs’ marriages are not “valid or recognized in the State.” N.C. Const. art. XIV, § 6 (as amended).
In addition, to secure similar benefits that flow from a legally recognized parent-child relationship, Ms. Mejia and Ms. Ginter-Mejia want to establish, via adoption, a full, legal parental relationship between their child J. G.-M. and his second parent. Specifically, Ms. Mejia,