A federal judge considering two cases challenging North Carolina's ban on gay marriage has sided with plaintiffs, joining another judge who also struck down the ban.

Judge William Osteen, Jr. declared the state's 2012 voter-approved constitutional amendment, known as Amendment One, unconstitutional on Tuesday, four days after Judge Max O. Cogburn Jr. ruled similarly in a separate case.

North Carolina House Speaker and Senate Leader Phil Berger had asked both judges to allow them to intervene in the cases.

Cogburn denied the request, but Osteen allowed the Republican lawmakers to narrowly join the lawsuit.

“Although it is a very close issue, this court concludes that the motion to intervene should be granted, but only for the purpose of lodging an objection and preserving that objection to this court's application of Bostic,” Osteen wrote.

Bostic is the recent case from the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals that struck down Virginia's ban. After the Supreme Court decided against hearing an appeal in the case, the ruling created a precedent for states under the Fourth Circuit's jurisdiction, including North Carolina.

The state started issuing marriage licenses to gay couples on Friday and Republican Governor Pat McCrory has said that he will abide by the rulings, though he did not discourage the lawmakers from pursuing their appeal.