On Monday, the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the Fourth District upheld a lower court's decision to strike down Virginia's ban on gay marriage. And since the Fourth District also has jurisdiction over North Carolina, any ruling on challenges to its law would likely face the same outcome.
Cooper, a Democrat, said his decision meant the state won't challenge the various cases against North Carolina's ban pending in court.
"Our attorneys have vigorously defended North Carolina's marriage law, which is their job," said state Attorney General Roy Cooper Monday. "Today we know our law almost surely will be overturned as well."
"Simply put, it's time to stop making arguments we will lose, and instead move forward knowing that the ultimate resolution will likely come from the United States Supreme Court," he said, calling further defense "futile" since North Carolina judges are bound by the Fourth Circuit opinion.