ACLU challenges North Carolina GOP leaders’ gay marriage appeal

North CarolinaSenate leader Phil Berger (left) and House Speaker Thom Tillis. LGBTQ Nation

RALEIGH, N.C. — Lawyers for several gay couples say in a legal filing that North Carolina‘s Republican legislative leaders shouldn’t be allowed to appeal rulings that legalized gay marriage in the state.

North CarolinaSenate leader Phil Berger (left) and House Speaker Thom Tillis.

North CarolinaSenate leader Phil Berger (left) and House Speaker Thom Tillis.

In a filing Friday in federal court, lawyers with the American Civil Liberties Union challenge the ability of House Speaker Thom Tillis and Senate leader Phil Berger to intervene.

Federal judges in Greensboro and Asheville have ruled that the state’s now-defunct gay marriage ban was unconstitutional.

A request to intervene by Berger and Tillis was granted by the federal judge in Greensboro. The GOP leaders then issued formal notice that they plan to appeal to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit.

The 4th circuit ruled this summer that Virginia’s same-sex marriage ban was unconstitutional. That ruling led the way for North Carolina’s ban to be struck down after the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear an appeal.

Tillis was elected this month to the U.S. Senate.

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