American Foundation for Equal Rights

Marriage News Blog

Bostic decision persuades North Carolina AG to stop defending marriage ban

A decision handed down yesterday by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit in AFER’s Virginia marriage equality case, Bostic v. Schaefer, has prompted North Carolina’s Attorney General to stop defending his state’s marriage ban.

Attorney General Roy Cooper announced yesterday to the press, “simply put, it is time to stop making arguments we will lose and instead move forward.”

North Carolina, as well as South Carolina and West Virginia, lies under the jurisdiction of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit. The court’s decision, therefore, is precedential for the cases pending in those states and likely paves the way for marriage equality to become the law of the land there. Maryland also lies within the 4th Circuit, but marriage equality has been legal there since January, 2013.

“Our office believes the judges in North Carolina are bound by this 4th Circuit decision,” Cooper said. “In addition, the State of North Carolina will acknowledge the 4th Circuit opinion that marriage is a fundamental right.”

The 2-1 decision upheld AFER’s District Court victory which struck down Virginia’s marriage ban on February 13, 2014.

The decision will likely be appealed to the United States Supreme Court. Click here to read more about the historic decision and to help support the case.