North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper has said that he supports gay marriage.

“I support marriage equality,” Cooper responded when asked whether he'd like to see the state's constitutional amendment limiting marriage to heterosexual couples repealed or a law passed allowing gay and lesbian couples to marry in North Carolina.

Cooper, a Democrat and a possible 2016 gubernatorial candidate, is a named defendant and the state's lead attorney in a lawsuit challenging the amendment, approved by 61 percent of voters last year. Cooper opposed passage of the amendment last year – calling its language vague – but never publicly announced his support for gay nuptials.

He went on to state that his personal views won't interfere with defending the amendment in the case.

Equality North Carolina (ENC) Executive Director Chris Sgro applauded Cooper's remarks.

“The Attorney General has long been an advocate for equal rights for all people and we applaud him for publicly aligning with a fast-growing majority of North Carolinians who now support the legal relationships between committed LGBT couples,” Sgro said in a statement.

Cooper will keynote the group's 2013 Foundation Gala taking place in downtown Greensboro on November 9.