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North Carolina

GOP lawmakers seeking outside help to defend N.C. gay marriage ban

Saturday, December 21, 2013

RALEIGH, N.C. — Republican legislative leaders said Friday that they are getting outside legal help related to a federal lawsuit challenging North Carolina’s ban on same-sex marriage, suggesting they aren’t convinced Democratic Attorney General Roy Cooper can wholeheartedly defend the state in the case.

gay-marriage-rallyAn attorney with the Alliance Defending Freedom is providing pro bono help for Senate leader Phil Berger and House Speaker Thom Tillis, Berger spokeswoman Amy Auth said. The alliance was founded 20 years ago by several conservative Christian leaders.

The General Assembly isn’t formally intervening right now in the lawsuit, which challenges the legality of a constitutional amendment put on the ballot by legislators and approved easily by voters in a May 2012 referendum.

But its leaders want eyes on the case to review how Cooper’s office is defending the amendment in court, the offices of Tillis and Berger announced in a news release.

Cooper’s critics have questioned his effectiveness in lawsuits after he announced his support for gay marriage and his opposition to election law changes also being challenged.

Gov. Pat McCrory and the legislature already have outside counsel for the election lawsuits, citing similar reasons. Cooper is also planning a run for governor in 2016.

Cooper’s “own actions have raised legitimate concerns about his ability to uphold his oath of office,” Berger and Tillis wrote. “It’s unfortunate we have to take this step to ensure the voters’ strong support for a constitutional amendment protecting marriage is defended.”

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Cooper has said repeatedly he can separate personal views from professional obligations, pointing to other cases where his office has defended the state effectively.

Cooper’s office didn’t immediately respond to an email seeking comment Friday, but spokeswoman Noelle Talley told WRAL-TV staff attorneys that the Attorney General’s office is “successfully defending the state in this case and will continue to work diligently to do so.”

The Alliance Defending Freedom, which focuses on protecting religious liberties, was created by Focus on the Family founder James Dobson, the late Rev. D. James Kennedy and Campus Crusade for Christ founder Bill Bright, among others.

The North Carolina Values Coalition, which supported the amendment’s passage, praised the decision of legislative leaders, saying Cooper “has compromised the position of the state in the lawsuit” filed by the ACLU.

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57 more reader comments:

  1. GOP bigot

    Posted on Saturday, December 21, 2013 at 7:35pm
  2. Legalize is spelled wrong. We need all the help we can get

    Posted on Saturday, December 21, 2013 at 7:35pm
  3. Oy, this does not help our cause for sure!

    Replied on Saturday, December 21, 2013 at 7:56pm
  4. Word, Melissa!

    Replied on Sunday, December 22, 2013 at 12:48am
  5. maybe they should call the Pope!!

    Posted on Saturday, December 21, 2013 at 7:36pm
  6. There’s just no need for that. So much hate.

    Posted on Saturday, December 21, 2013 at 7:37pm
  7. good luck, I hear Utah’s chapter of the h8 campaign’s money is all tied up at the moment.

    Posted on Saturday, December 21, 2013 at 7:38pm
  8. bigots

    Posted on Saturday, December 21, 2013 at 7:38pm
  9. It’s the law. Time to move on. It’s called…Progress.

    Posted on Saturday, December 21, 2013 at 7:38pm
  10. Since pro is the opposite of con, wouldn't that make progress the opposite of Congress?

    Replied on Saturday, December 21, 2013 at 10:53pm
  11. Free nc gays I deserve to get married

    Posted on Saturday, December 21, 2013 at 7:38pm
  12. They’re really getting desperate after what happened in Utah. XDD

    Posted on Saturday, December 21, 2013 at 7:39pm
  13. Ugh

    Posted on Saturday, December 21, 2013 at 7:39pm
  14. Selfish belief on the GOP’s part, What the hell does a sexual pref have to do with government? I’m so confused…

    Posted on Saturday, December 21, 2013 at 7:42pm
  15. The Alliance Defending Freedom is going to defend a law that takes away the freedoms of a minority. I’d call that ironic, but it’s just idiotic.

    Posted on Saturday, December 21, 2013 at 7:42pm
  16. I would be so happy if I could move back to the state I was born in. I love North Carolina, and I hope the laws in Sweet North Carolina do change. I would move back in a minute!

    Posted on Saturday, December 21, 2013 at 7:45pm
  17. poor GOP, if you cant defend your own argument, STFU

    Posted on Saturday, December 21, 2013 at 7:46pm
  18. Good luck. NOM’s money didn’t help in the Prop 8 and DOMA cases. NC is wrong (just like Tennessee and the other hate-states) and they are all going to lose.

    Posted on Saturday, December 21, 2013 at 7:47pm
  19. Where is the fiscal conservatism in this action? How many millions of taxpayer dollars will be wasted attempting to defend an unconstitutional law?

    Posted on Saturday, December 21, 2013 at 7:47pm
  20. Zach Constable – I agree ten fold bro, Michael Mora – Its a HATEFUL law that will demoralize the US.

    Posted on Saturday, December 21, 2013 at 7:47pm
  21. NM & UT this week..who knows what next week or month will bring BUT there will be great days ahead as laws in NC, SC, LA, TX & OK fall..and THEY WILL FALL! time to move on to real issues.

    Posted on Saturday, December 21, 2013 at 7:48pm
  22. no ;-; i want to get married in my state when i get older

    Posted on Saturday, December 21, 2013 at 7:48pm
  23. Spellcheck. Seriously. It’s almost 2014.

    Posted on Saturday, December 21, 2013 at 7:48pm
  24. Stupidity was never attractive. Ever. Doesn't matter what year we're in!

    Replied on Saturday, December 21, 2013 at 10:51pm
  25. Yeah, but these are OUR stupids! We've got to do better!

    Replied on Sunday, December 22, 2013 at 12:05am
  26. Pigs!

    Posted on Saturday, December 21, 2013 at 7:49pm
  27. I live in nc and have little hope for this state right now. I see gay marriage being legalized within the next maybe 5 years but no sooner. Because we are under the mason Dixon line makes it harder for people to just agree to be equal. I just want to marry my girlfriend and not have to drive Atleast 6 hours away to do that and then it not be legal here…

    Posted on Saturday, December 21, 2013 at 7:52pm
  28. They can try to defend all they want, but it’s coming down!

    Posted on Saturday, December 21, 2013 at 7:53pm
  29. Anyone else agree that ignorance isn’t bliss? XD I love being a straight LGBTQ ally

    Posted on Saturday, December 21, 2013 at 7:54pm
  30. The christians here most of them are living with s man or woman out of wedlock with children.

    Posted on Saturday, December 21, 2013 at 7:55pm
  31. GOP going backwards again!

    Posted on Saturday, December 21, 2013 at 8:01pm
  32. Emmily Emily Cummings
    well i live in utah and we didn’t have much hope here either till last night .
    i married my wife in cali and i new one say it would happen here in Mormon land too .
    just be patient girl its just a matter of time

    Posted on Saturday, December 21, 2013 at 8:01pm
  33. emmily go the 6 miles marry you’re Gf at least that’s one stop closer you cane till they legalize it in your state that way when they do you’ll beone step ahead of every one else dear

    Posted on Saturday, December 21, 2013 at 8:05pm
  34. They are still fucked down there.

    Posted on Saturday, December 21, 2013 at 8:06pm
  35. They should get Phil Robertson to help them out. ;-)

    Posted on Saturday, December 21, 2013 at 8:06pm
  36. Blame the culture and the school system for the fact that they can

    Posted on Saturday, December 21, 2013 at 8:06pm
  37. t spell.

    Posted on Saturday, December 21, 2013 at 8:07pm
  38. GOP: you do know the Supreme court is NOT on your side, don’t you?

    Posted on Saturday, December 21, 2013 at 8:08pm
  39. Say goodnight GOP, equality is on its way…

    Posted on Saturday, December 21, 2013 at 8:19pm
  40. Hope they get lots of help from California, Utah, and New Mexico, among others………..lol

    Posted on Saturday, December 21, 2013 at 8:28pm
  41. They r going to do everything they can. They’re all getting desperate.

    Posted on Saturday, December 21, 2013 at 8:32pm
  42. Filthy savages. If they have such a problem with same sex marriage, they can leave.

    Posted on Saturday, December 21, 2013 at 8:40pm
  43. fuck the GOP…

    Posted on Saturday, December 21, 2013 at 8:48pm
  44. This may be a good sign. They wouldn’t be looking for extra help if they didn’t smell their hateful ban going down the drain.

    Posted on Saturday, December 21, 2013 at 8:51pm
  45. running scared!!!

    Posted on Saturday, December 21, 2013 at 9:52pm
  46. :( Im in NC. Figures

    Posted on Saturday, December 21, 2013 at 10:32pm
  47. Deep pocketed homophobes

    Posted on Saturday, December 21, 2013 at 10:47pm
  48. As an Australian the spelling on those two signs makes me cringe TWICE.

    Posted on Saturday, December 21, 2013 at 10:50pm
  49. Well, spelling mistakes on your signs are not going to help. It is LEGALIZE

    Posted on Saturday, December 21, 2013 at 11:49pm
  50. Frank Lombard photographed and filmed himself raping and sodomizing their adopted child, circulating the images on pornography websites, and he acted as a pimp, prostituting the child to others via the website. Lombard had adopted two children quite legally through the “gay marriage” laws. Lombard admitted to drugging the child with Benadryl during the molestation. His case is very similar to that of Larry Brinkin, another leading US “gay rights” activist who was charged with child pornography offences last year.

    Lombard was sentenced to 27 years in prison, after plea-bargaining.

    Posted on Sunday, December 22, 2013 at 1:50am
  51. give it up assholes, it’s going down everywhere sooner than later. Hurts less to just go ahead and bite the bullet now. hahahaha

    Posted on Sunday, December 22, 2013 at 2:35am
  52. Yada, Yada, Yada! Enough already!

    Posted on Sunday, December 22, 2013 at 3:25am
  53. Hippocrates

    Posted on Sunday, December 22, 2013 at 5:14am
  54. They need it!

    Posted on Sunday, December 22, 2013 at 7:34am
  55. It’s going to happen like it or not #EqualRightsNow #GOP is digging their own grave !!!

    Posted on Sunday, December 22, 2013 at 8:07am
  56. Posted on Sunday, December 22, 2013 at 11:26am
  57. Film on LGBT rights now creating sensation in India. watch the movie online @ http://www.zingreel.comhttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nwwQufTPZ1s...

    Posted on Sunday, December 22, 2013 at 12:04pm