In a landmark ruling that will reverberate throughout the South and the entire country, the United States Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit has upheld a lower court ruling and struck down Virginia’s ban on the freedom to marry.And better yet, the current NC Attorney General, Roy Cooper, has said he will no longer defend the amendment.
Expanding a lengthy streak of legal victories for marriage equality, the federal appeals in Richmond ruled today that states may not deny same-sex couples their fundamental right to marry, overturning Virginia’s 2006 marriage ban. On the heels of a similar 10th Circuit holding on June 25, today’s ruling
The ruling could bring marriage equality closer, not just in Virginia, but in the other 4th Circuit states still seeking marriage across the South, including North Carolina, South Carolina, West Virginia.
“It’s hard to believe how far we’ve come. Just two years ago, in the darkest hours of our state’s LGBT movement, anti-gay forces in North Carolina pushed through a draconian constitutional amendment banning all relationship recognitions for same-sex couples,” said Sgro. “But thanks to the work of so many legal teams and plaintiffs, communities and organizations, supporters, families, and followers, we’re seeing today what a difference a few years of hard work, leadership, and commitment to equality in the South can make. With today’s ruling, we are closer to the freedom to marry than ever before, with support for marriage equality at an all-time high right here in North Carolina, across the South, and across the country.”
"After reviewing the 4th Circuit decision and consulting with attorneys here, I have concluded that the State of North Carolina will not oppose the cases moving forward," said Cooper. "In addition, the State of North Carolina will acknowledge the 4th Circuit opinion that marriage is a fundamental right and that our office believes that the judges are bound by this 4th Circuit decision."He says any ruling on North Carolina's ban would likely be stayed until the U.S. Supreme Court turns down the appeal or makes a ruling.
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