A federal judge late Thursday denied
North Carolina GOP leaders the 8-day extension they sought as they
jumped in to defend the state's ban on gay marriage.
Three cases threaten North Carolina's
marriage laws, which include a constitutional amendment, known as
Amendment One, approved by voters in 2012 that defines marriage as a
Two of the cases were placed on hold until
a similar lawsuit challenging Virginia's ban was settled.
On Monday, the Supreme Court refused to
hear an appeal in the case, allowing the Fourth Circuit Court's
ruling striking down Virginia's ban to take effect.
The ruling affects all similarly
situated states within the court's jurisdiction, including North
Carolina, South Carolina and West Virginia.
Virginia AG Patrick Morrisey ends defense of state's gay marriage
On Tuesday, U.S. District Judge William
Osteen lifted stays on two ACLU of North Carolina cases challenging
the state's ban.
House Speaker Thom Tillis and Senate
President Phil Berger, both Republicans, moved in to defend the ban,
hiring John Eastman, chairman of the National Organization for
Marriage (NOM), to represent them in their attempt to intervene in
the cases. North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper, a Democrat,
announced in July he would no longer defend the ban, saying “there
are really no arguments left to be made.”
In their request to intervene, the
lawmakers argued that the Virginia case should not affect North
Carolina's cases in part because Virginia's attorney general, Mark
Herring, had sided with plaintiff couples and asked for an 8-day
extension because “undersigned counsel were recently assigned to
Osteen gave the lawmakers until noon
Friday to file expanded arguments.
The lawmakers, Osteen
said Thursday, “allege that additional time is required to
'investigate the files and conduct appropriate research in order to
adequately prepare the pleading.'”
But “these cases have been pending
for a lengthy period of time and the defendants have been clear in
their position” that the cases were tied to the Virginia case.