Gov. McCrory pressured on gay marriage ban, as 2016 looms

Posted by John Frank on August 26, 2014 

Gov. Pat McCrory is facing pressure from an advocacy organization about whether the state should continue to defend its constitutional ban on gay marriage.

Equality NC is urging the Republican to stop the legal case after the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals struck Virginia’s ban in July and Attorney General Roy Cooper, a Democrat, said he would no longer defend North Carolina’s law. The group plans to deliver about 10,000 petitions to McCrory on Wednesday to make its case.

“Now more than ever, it’s time for our state leaders to stop defending North Carolina’s discriminatory marriage ban,” said Chris Sgro, the group’s executive director. “On Aug. 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.”

At the same time, a group of church leaders called on McCrory to defend the constitution.

McCrory’s office did not return a message seeking comment. McCrory had asked Cooper to request a stay of North Carolina’s case pending a higher appeal of the Virginia lawsuit, which is now on hold.

But his stance leaves unanswered questions, Equality NC suggests: Does McCrory still personally support the amendment after the Virginia ruling? And will he seek a special outside counsel to uphold the state’s ban now that Cooper won’t defend it?

The questions may hold implications for the 2016 governor’s race when Cooper is expected to challenge McCrory.

Earlier this year in Kentucky, Gov. Steve Beshear stepped into defend the state’s ban after Attorney General Jack Conway said he wouldn’t defend it.

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