NC attorney general won't defend gay marriage ban

by: Catherine Bilkey Updated:


RALEIGH, N.C. - Attorney General Roy Cooper said his office will no longer defend Amendment One. His decision comes after a federal court ruled a Virginia same sex marriage ban unconstitutional.

“All federal courts have rejected these arguments each and every time,” Cooper said. “So it's time for the state of North Carolina to stop making them.”

Monday the Virginia ban was struck down by the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, which also has jurisdiction over North Carolina.

"Our attorneys have vigorously defended North Carolina's marriage law, which is their job, but today we know our law almost surely will be overturned as well,” Cooper said. “Simply put, it's time to stop making arguments we will lose, and instead move forward.”

“People in my congregation are elated today,” Pastor Nancy Kraft said.

Kraft’s case was filed in April and is in the same Court of Appeals and was on hold because it was so closely linked to the Virginia case.

“This is something that we've been waiting for,” Kraft, with Holy Trinity Lutheran Church, said.

But other people are deeply troubled by the court's decision.

“It's outrageous that federal judges put themselves in the place of God,” Tami Fitzgerald, with North Carolina Values Coalition, said.

Fitzgerald told Channel 9 over the phone that her organization is upset that Cooper won't defend the voter-approved law.
“It’s despicable,” Fitzgerald said. “He's elected to enforce and defend the laws in the constitution in the state of North Carolina.”

Cooper did say that this does not mean an immediate change in policy. That would take a judge's order. The governor has asked for a stay in North Carolina’s pending cases against the ban.