Plaintiff in North Carolina same-sex marriage case dies

Pearl Berlin, who challenged North Carolina's refusal to recognize same-sex marriages, has died. She was 93.

Berlin died Thursday, said Matt Hirschey, head of special projects for Equality NC.

Berlin married Ellen Gerber in a synagogue in Greensboro in 2013 and followed with civil ceremony in Maine that year, but their marriage remained legally invalid in North Carolina. With Berlin suffering health problems in 2014, the couple rushed to join the vanguard of efforts to strike down the state ban, so that Gerber could have spousal rights over decisions about her care.

The American Civil Liberties Union urged a federal judge to quickly negate the ban, which was deemed unconstitutional that same year.

Berlin's memorial service will be held at UNC Greensboro on June 14.