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ACLU Plans To Challenge N.C. Ban On Same-Sex Marriage

The American Civil Liberties Union plans to challenge North Carolina's ban on same-sex marriage.

The ACLU announced Tuesday it's amending a federal lawsuit it filed last year that challenges the state's ban on second parent adoptions. That policy prevents couples who are not married from adopting each other's children. It applies to gay and straight couples. 

The ACLU filed the lawsuit on behalf of six gay couples, including one that lives in Charlotte, Lee Knight Caffery and her partner, Dana Draa. Caffery says she and Draa decided to have two kids together with Caffery as the biological mother. But she says North Carolina does not recognize Draa as a parent.

"She is every bit as much of a parent to these two children as I am - they know no difference," Caffery said. "They know they have two moms. They know they have two parents that love them very much. But in the eyes of the law, they do not."

Caffery said the best way to protect her family in the eyes of the law would be to get married, so she was thrilled when the ACLU contacted her about amending the lawsuit.

State Attorney General Roy Cooper would need to allow the ACLU to make that amendment. The organization is also challenging same-sex marriage bans in Pennsylvania and Virginia.

Those moves come less than two weeks after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled the federal Defense of Marriage Act is unconstitutional. The high court did not rule on the constitutionality of state bans on same-sex marriage.