May 8, 2012 North Carolina becomes the 31st state to add an amendment on marriage to its constitution, with voters banning same-sex marriage and barring legal recognition of unmarried couples by state and local governments.
June 26, 2013 U.S. Supreme Court strikes down a key part of the federal Defense of Marriage Act, which denies same-sex married couples federal benefits. A separate decision concludes that supporters of California’s Proposition 8, banning same-sex marriage, lack legal standing to defend it.
July 28, 2014 A three-judge panel from the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals rules that Virginia’s statutory and constitutional provisions banning same-sex marriage violate the U.S. Constitution, paving the way for the American Civil Liberties Union to appeal North Carolina’s ban. N.C. Attorney General Roy Cooper says he no longer would defend the amendment.
Oct. 6, 2014 U.S. Supreme Court says it will not take up appeals challenging lower-court rulings overturning gay marriage bans in five states.
Oct. 10, 2014 Marriage for same-sex couples becomes legal in North Carolina in a historic ruling by U.S. District Judge Max Cogburn. The first same-sex marriage in Wake County takes place.
Oct. 14, 2014 U.S. District Judge William Osteen Jr. nullifies the state’s same-sex marriage ban, allowing opponents to appeal.
Jan. 16, 2015 U.S. Supreme Court agrees to rule on whether the 14th Amendment requires states to recognize same-sex marriages.
Feb. 25, 2015 North Carolina Senate votes to exempt magistrates from performing same-sex marriages based on “sincerely held” religious objections.
April 28, 2015 U.S. Supreme Court begins to hear arguments in the same-sex marriage case.
May 27, 2015 North Carolina House votes to allow magistrates to opt out of performing weddings if they have a religious objection.
May 28, 2015 Gov. Pat McCrory vetoes a bill to allow magistrates to opt out of performing same-sex marriages.
June 11, 2015 State House overrides Gov. McCrory’s veto and enacts a law allowing certain county officials to avoid same-sex marriage duties if they invoke “any sincerely held religious objection.”
June 26, 2015 U.S. Supreme Court, in a 5-4 vote, affirms right to same-sex marriage nationwide.
Staff writer Teresa Leonard