By Allen Reed
The Associated Press
June 11, 2012
A humanist group is claiming the state of North Carolina violated the First Amendment by allowing voting in churches that advocated anti-gay political stances.
A church signboard reading “A true marriage is male and female and God” greeted precinct W28 voters who walked up to the voting both to cast ballots on a state constitutional amendment to prevent gay marriage. Pictures of the billboard, displayed next to “vote here” signs in front of the Devon Park United Methodist Church in Wilmington, N.C., went viral.
The humanist group claims the state violated the First Amendment by hosting voting at partisan churches, but the state says the practice is perfectly legal and will not change.
The Appignani Humanist Legal Center, which advocates the non-religious views of humanism, sent a letter to the state board three weeks after the May vote. The letter outlines concerns about using churches as polling places and alleges the state violated the First Amendment’s Establishment Clause.
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