Republican leaders in the North
Carolina legislature have vowed to continue fighting for the state's
ban on gay marriage, which was struck down on Friday.
Four days after the Supreme Court
refused to hear an appeal in a case from the Fourth Circuit striking
down Virginia's ban, U.S. District Court Judge Max O. Cogburn Jr.
said that the case had created “settled law” in the circuit and
that North Carolina's ban violated the 14th Amendment of
the U.S. Constitution. Joyous couples began marrying soon after
Cogburn's ruling was released late Friday.
Church of Christ cheers ruling striking down North Carolina's gay
Cogburn denied a request by the GOP
leaders to intervene in the case.
However, U.S. District Judge William
Osteen is considering arguments in two similar cases and has yet to
rule out allowing the leaders to intervene.
“While we recognize the tremendous
passion on all sides of this issue, we promised to defend the will of
North Carolina voters, because they – not judges and not
politicians – define marriage as between one man and one woman and
placed that in our state constitution,” North Carolina House
Speaker Thom Tillis and Senate President Phil Berger said in a joint
“It is disappointing this decision
was made without North Carolina's law receiving its day in court, and
we will continue to work to ensure the voice of the voters is heard,”
Osteen has given plaintiffs in the
cases until Monday at 3 PM to file their response.
Lawyers representing the GOP lawmakers
have argued that Virginia's case should not affect North Carolina's
outcome because Virginia's attorney general, Mark Herring, sided with