CHARLOTTE, N.C. — The leaders of North Carolina’s state legislature filed motions with the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals on Friday asking it to put on hold its hearings in their appeals over state’s anti-LGBT marriage amendment. House Speaker Thom Tillis and Senate President Pro Tempore Phil Berger said they plan on asking the Supreme Court to immediately take up the case.
The Fourth Circuit ruled in July to overturn Virginia’s similar ban. On Oct. 6, the Supreme Court refused to hear an appeal on that decision and several more from other circuit courts, setting in motion a series of fast-paced court filings and motions. On Oct. 10, a federal judge overturned North Carolina’s anti-gay marriage ban.
“Two federal judges in four separate cases in North Carolina have ruled that loving, committed same-sex couples, like the plaintiffs in these cases, have the freedom to marry under the U.S. Constitution,” the Rev. Jasmine Beach-Ferrara, executive director of the Campaign for Southern Equality and a plaintiff in one of the North Carolina cases, said in a statement.
“This is the law of the land and we are confident that this fundamental right will be affirmed by every court that considers it,” she added. “This latest attempt to resurrect Amendment One is nothing more than a political stunt. Same-sex couples across North Carolina have been getting married since October 10 and should be protected and supported by our state, just as other families are. But instead – even as we see public support for marriage equality growing – elected officials are doing everything in their power to support a clearly-discriminatory law.”
South Carolina’s attorney general, Alan Wilson, has said he will similarly ask the Supreme Court to hear an appeal in his state’s marriage cases.