Advocates want McCrory to stand for marriage equality

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Advocates with a statewide LGBT advocacy group say they’ll deliver as many as 10,000 signed petitions to North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory on Wednesday morning, asking him to stand “on the right side of history,” and drop defense of the state’s anti-LGBT constitutional amendment.

Families affected by the ban, passed by 61 percent of voters in May 2012, will join Equality North Carolina in simultaneous petition deliveries at his three regional offices across the state — in Raleigh, Charlotte and Asheville.

“Now more than ever, it’s time for our state leaders to stop defending North Carolina’s discriminatory marriage ban,” Equality NC Executive Director Chris Sgro said in a release. “On August 27, we are proud to deliver this important message alongside families from all across the state who are demanding Gov. McCrory not waste one taxpayer dollar defending what is now an unconstitutional and indefensible law. In doing so, we join them in asking that our elected officials not only stand with their constituents, but also, in doing so, help North Carolina stand on the right side of history.”

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North Carolina’s marriage ban is still on the books, despite a Fourth Circuit ruling last month overturning Virginia’s similar ban as unconstitutional.

As a result of that ruling, state Attorney General Roy Cooper said his office would stop defending the ban.

“Our attorneys have vigorously defended North Carolina’s marriage law, which is their job, but today our marriage law will almost surely be overturned as well,” Cooper said just hours after the court’s ruling. “Simply put, it’s time to stop making arguments we will lose and instead move forward knowing that the ultimate resolution will likely come from the U.S. Supreme Court.”

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Legislative leaders haven’t yet said whether they will step in to defend the amendment. Neither has Gov. Pat McCrory, who has his own legal authority to appoint special counsel to defend the ban.

Equality North Carolina wants McCrory to come out now against the ban and commit to dropping defense of it.

The petition deliveries are scheduled for Wednesday morning, 9 a.m., at McCrory’s three offices: the North Carolina State Capitol, 1 E. Edenton St., Raleigh; Charlotte, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Government Center, 600 E. Fourth St.; and Asheville, Virginia Boone Building, 1301 Fanning Bridge Rd.

For more on the petition or its text, visit equalitync.org/marriage/signon.

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Posted by Matt Comer

Matt Comer previously served as editor from October 2007 through August 2015 and as a staff writer afterward in 2016.