Days May Be Numbered For NC Gay Marriage Ban

UPDATE:  A judge in Asheville, a gay stronghold, has ruled Amendment One unconstitutional. You’re vote is moot.



— A federal judge in North Carolina has lifted stays in two cases challenging the state’s ban on same-sex marriages, a possible sign he’s preparing to strike down the prohibition as unconstitutional.

Chief U.S. District Court Judge William Osteen Jr. issued an order Wednesday lifting his earlier stays and dismissing all motions in the cases. The move came after the office of North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper filed documents with the court essentially dropping all further defense of the 2012 ban approved by voters.

Osteen had issued the stays in July, after Virginia’s same-sex marriage ban was struck down by the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond, which has jurisdiction over North Carolina. The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday refused to hear an appeal of the Virginia case.

Some legislative leaders have said they will fight to keep the gay marriage ban in place despite Monday’s decision. They could ask the Supreme Court for an emergency stay. Justice Anthony Kennedy granted a temporary emergency stay to Idaho on Wednesday.

Some couples don’t want to wait to see what the courts will do. A number of couples from the Charlotte area have already driven up Interstate 77 to Carroll County, Virginia. The clerk of court will not only issue the license, but also perform the ceremony.


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