The North Carolina Gay Marriage Case Makes No Sense

Earlier this week, the United Church of Christ made headlines when it filed a federal lawsuit challenging North Carolina's ban on gay marriage. The suit makes a novel argument: Because state law makes it a crime for a minister or other religious official to marry a gay couple—yes, you read that right, a crime to marry a gay couple—the law violates their religious freedom. This time, it is pro-gay ministers trying to stand up for their rights and the rights of gay couples.

Gay rights supporters were unequivocal in deriding the North Carolina statute. Evan Wolfson, the dean of the marriage equality movement, told the New York Times that North Carolina legislators have “put in place a measure that assaulted the religious freedom that they profess to support by penalizing and seeking to chill clergy that have different views.” Mark Joseph Stern pulled no punches in Slate: “Anyone legitimately concerned about the rights of believers to practice their faith as they wish should be appalled by North Carolina’s marriage laws. The threat of a