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Update On What Federal Appeals Court Decision On Same-Sex Marriage Means In NC

NC Government

North Carolina's Attorney General says a federal appeals court decision that opens up the possibility of same-sex marriage in Virginia next week does not mean that same-sex marriage can happen in North Carolina.

The U.S. Court of Appeals that sets the precedent for Maryland, the Virginias and the Carolinas ruled last month that Virginia's same-sex marriage ban is unconstitutional. And Wednesday that court chose not to put its decision on hold, meaning same-sex couples can get married in Virginia starting Wednesday. 

But there are two reasons that does not mean same-sex couples can get married in North Carolina. First, the U.S. Supreme Court may put the appeals court decision on hold. That's what the Supreme Court did with a similar case in Utah.

And second, North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper says a same-sex marriage license will not be valid here until a judge rules that North Carolina's ban specifically is unconstitutional.

Cooper says that's likely to happen at some point because of the federal appeals court decision in the Virginia case. But until then, nothing changes.