North Carolina Attorney General Ends Fight to Defend State’s Marriage Amendment

Roy Cooper pdRALEIGH, NC — The attorney general of North Carolina has announced that he has ended his fight to defend the state’s constitutional marriage amendment, which enshrines marriage as being solely between a man and a woman.

As previously reported, in April, the Cleveland, Ohio-based United Church of Christ (UCC), which is outside of biblical orthodoxy and was the first American religious group to ordain homosexuals and affirm abortion, filed a suit in federal court to challenge the marriage amendment. Several local clergy members from within the UCC and those from other sects also joined the litigation.

The plaintiffs assert that North Carolina’s ban on same-sex “marriage” unlawfully bars them from serving a certain sector of the public, thus inhibiting their religious liberty to perform their clerical duties.

“By denying same-sex couples the right to marry and prohibiting religious denominations even from performing marriage ceremonies for same-sex couples, the State of North Carolina stigmatizes same-sex couples, as well as the religious institutions and clergy that believe in equal rights,” the suit states, as reported by the Charlotte Observer.

Other named in the suit included Joe Hoffman of the First Congregational United Church of Christ in Asheville Robin Tanner of Piedmont Unitarian Universalist Church; Jonathan Freirich of Temple Beth El; Nancy Kraft of Holy Trinity Lutheran, Nathan King of Trinity Reformed UCC in Concord; Mark Ward of Asheville Unitarian Universalist Congregation and Nancy Petty of Pullen Memorial Baptist in Raleigh.

North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper, who supports homosexual unions, originally sought to put aside his personal beliefs and defend Amendment One, a ballot initiative that passed with 61 percent of the vote in 2012. However, as the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a lower court ruling striking down Virginia’s same-sex “marriage” ban this week, Cooper concluded that it would be futile to defend North Carolina’s law as well. North Carolina is under the jurisdiction of the 4th Circuit Court.

“Today we know our law almost surely will be overturned,” he told reporters. “This doesn’t mean that same-sex marriages can start today, … but it does predict that our law will be struck down.”

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“We don’t need to continue to waste taxpayer money to argue a case that you can’t win,” he added on Wednesday to local television station WFMY.

But some within the North Carolina legislature disagree, stating that Cooper is failing voters.

“Better than 60 percent of the people of North Carolina voted to have this provision put in our Constitution,” Senate President Pro Tempore Phil Berger told the News & Observer. “I think the attorney general should defend the constitution that the people of North Carolina voted for.”

“The people spoke clearly on this issue,” added House Speaker Thom Tillis. “Too many politicians ignore the will of the people, and it is clear that the attorney general did just that today.”

A number of pastors throughout the state also recently rallied in Raleigh, imploring the government to defend God’s definition of marriage.

“The courts have put themselves above Almighty God,” lamented Mark Creech, the executive director of the Christian Action League of North Carolina, Inc.

“It is not up to us to question what God defined as marriage in Genesis Chapter 2,” James Lochridge Jr., the pastor of Second Baptist Church in Kings Mountain added to the Shelby Star. “If our elected officials will not stand up for the Christian principles on which this country was founded, then we, the voters, need to elect those who will. America has been a great nation in the past because we have stood on God’s word from the beginning.”

The American Civil Liberties Union plans to file a legal motion next week requesting that North Carolina’s marriage amendment be overturned.


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  • Mary Waterton

    7th paragraph: “Today we know our law almost surely will be overturned,” he told reporters. “This doesn’t mean that same-sex marriages can start today, … but it does predict that our law will be struck down.”

    That may be true, but God nonetheless expects His people in the state of North Carolina to fight the good fight. Contact your state senator and representatives and demand that either Amendment One be defended or Roy Cooper be impeach for dereliction of duty.

    • Bruce

      I have no idea what kind of religious values AG Cooper holds, but has it occurred to you that he believes God wants him not to waste the government’s money on defending a law he believes won’t stand constitutional scrutiny? I think impeachment would be totally inappropriate when all this AG has done is practice prosecutorial discretion, something prosecutors do every day.

  • Brad Young

    This is an important fight for two reasons, the first, God’s definition of marriage goes without saying anything more than it is God’s clear will for one man and one woman. The second is not so obvious to most but is CRITICALLY important. The “balance of power” established in three branches of government are clearly defined in our Constitution. The courts are here to decide if a law is Constitutional or not. They are NOT here to decide what is IN the Constitution, that is up to the legislative branch who are elected to enact into law the will of the people in a state. Since the NC state legislature has ALREADY amended our Constitution to include God’s definition of marriage then this is not a negotiable issue really because the will of the people has already been spoken and signed PERMANENTLY into our NC Constitution unless the LEGISLATURE in NC were to change it later. The courts are here only to interpret the Constitution as it applies to laws, not to perform legislation from a bench. From this proper perspective this is not very hard to defend at all, this guy just wants to cave so that he can remain in a cave and not have to do a lot of hard work. If other states want to allow homosexual marriage I believe that the 10th amendment to the federal constitution allows them to do so, but the people of NC have spoken and our legislature acted accordingly.

  • Greg Deane

    I daresay the amendment was “denying same-sex couples the right to marry and prohibiting religious denominations even from performing marriage ceremonies for same-sex couples, the State of North Carolina stigmatizes same-sex couples, as well as the religious institutions and clergy that believe in equal rights.” And it’s exactly what it should have done in the minds of probably a greater majority that is willing to give voice to its disapproval of unnatural unions, for fear of vicious recriminations from homosexuals and their shrill, unreasoning supporters. They should never have been given the chance to “come out”.

  • ArielMalek

    Re the North Carolina AG’s refusal to fight evil to defend good: As English statesman Edmund Burke stated, “All; that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing.”
    I glad our nation did not give up to Hitler in World War II when the going got rough. And one could cite a vast number of times when heroic and courageous men and women fought for good and right against the impossible odds. I could cite the battle of the Alamo here in my city where a couple of hundred men gave their lives to resist tyranny. It appeared to be a lost cause until other heroic men took up the cause and later defeated the tyrant Santa Anna.

    I don’t know the heart or reasons for this AG’s decision to surrender in the face of evil. Other stories I caught a glimpse of from NC make me wonder if the social elitists are targeting that state to infiltrate and enforce their radical agenda. But if the AG doesn’t have the heart to defend his citizen’s, maybe NC citizens should seek one who will defend freedom.