No marriage equality ruling yet, judge wants to hear from couples’ lawyers, NC Attorney General next week

U.S. District Court Judge William Osteen Jr. has given N.C. Attorney General Roy Cooper and attorneys representing same-sex couples until 3 p.m. Monday to respond to requests by state legislative leaders to intervene.

Couples around the state had been waiting in courthouses to see if Osteen would rule North Carolina’s ban on same-sex marriages unconstitutional. A similar federal case regarding whether religious leaders’ rights to perform same-sex marriages is still pending.


N.C. House Speaker (and U.S. Senate candidate) Thom Tillis and state Sen. President Pro-Tem Phil Berger asked to intervene in the case and stop couples from marrying earlier today.

Tillis and Berger are hoping to intervene by arguing that their interests opposing same-sex marriages were no longer being represented by  Cooper, who announced earlier this year that his office would no longer defend North Carolina’s ban on same-sex marriages after a federal circuit court found a similar ban in Virginia was unconstitutional.

Cooper is a Democrat and Berger and Tillis are both Republicans.

In his order, Osteen indicated that he would make his decision quickly.

“The parties are advised that this court will proceed to ruling an order on the motion to intervene and a final order as soon as reasonably possible following receipt of the briefs from Plaintiffs and the State of North Carolina,” he wrote. “Movants should not anticipate a lengthy proceedings in this court in ligth of the applicability of the Bostic and these cases will not be delayed unnecessarily.”

Osteen’s order is here:


osteen10.10 by NC Policy Watch

One Comment

  1. David

    October 10, 2014 at 7:46 pm

    Judge Max Cogburn issued a permanent injunction declaring the laws against marriage for same-sex couples to be unconstitutional. No way Judge Osteen can issue an order that goes contrary to the Bostic ruling from the 4th Circuit. It’s over in NC.

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