North Carolina Senate leader Phil Berger and former state House leader and newly-seated U.S. Sen. Thom Tillis are asking the U.S. Supreme Court to quickly hear their appeal seeking to reverse lower-court rulings that legalized gay marriage in the state.
The lawmakers are asking the high court to hear their case ahead of a ruling by the U.S. Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals, claiming the appeals court has already erred in its decision against Virginia’s ban on same-sex marriage by ignoring the 1972 decision of Baker v. Nelson, a decades-old ruling in Minnesota that the U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear.
“The current push to redefine marriage to encompass same-sex relationships would remove several of the other key components of the institution of marriage,” the brief states. “It would remove biological complementarity, therefore depriving a significant number of children of being raised by both of their biological parents and removing them from a structured household with both masculine and feminine influences.”
Federal judges in Greensboro and Asheville ruled in October that the state constitution’s amendment banning gay marriage was unconstitutional.
The rulings came after the Supreme Court refused to hear a case that overturned Virginia’s similar ban.
Berger and Tillis were allowed by the Greensboro federal judge to intervene after Attorney General Roy Cooper said all potential legal defenses are exhausted.
One of the attorneys representing the lawmakers is John Eastman, board chair of the National Organization for Marriage.