North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper on Monday said his office would no longer defend the state's ban on gay marriage.

Cooper, a Democrat who last year stated his opposition to the ban but vowed to defend it in court, said a ruling by the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond striking down Virginia's ban had sealed the fate of North Carolina's marriage amendment. The Fourth Circuit holds jurisdiction over North Carolina, South Carolina, West Virginia, Maryland and Virginia.

(Related: Appeals court strikes down Virginia's gay marriage ban.)

“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,” Cooper told reporters. “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. In all these cases challenging state marriage laws, our office along with other attorneys general and state attorneys across the country have made about every legal argument imaginable. Since the US Supreme Court ruled in the Windsor case, all the federal courts have rejected these arguments each and every time.”

“So it’s time for the State of North Carolina to stop making them,” he added.