As same-sex marriage bans continue to fall in the courts, states on the losing side of the battle are finding themselves on the hook for attorneys’ fees incurred by proponents of marriage equality, to the tune of more than $800,000 thus far, according to Zoe Tillman in this National Law Journal post.

And requests for millions more are still pending in cases making their way through the appellate courts, Tillman notes.

In the cases pending here, the requests themselves have been put on hold while appeals play out.  State Senate President Phil Berger and former House Speaker Thom Tillis intervened in those cases to appeal district court judgments overturning the state’s same-sex marriage ban, following the Fourth Circuit’s ruling on a similar ban in Virginia in Bostic v. Schaeffer.

But several of the attorneys in the Bostic cases are recovering fees.  Says Tillman:

After the Fourth Circuit declared Virginia’s marriage ban unconstitutional, officials reached fee agreements with the plaintiffs’ lawyers. Virginia will pay $60,000 to lawyers in Harris v. Rainey, a class action joined with another case, Bostic v. Rainey, on appeal. A spokesman for the attorney general’s office said the terms of an agreement with the Bostic lawyers were still being finalized.

In Harris, Jenner & Block worked with the ACLU of Virginia and Lambda Legal. Attorney fees will go to the nonprofit lawyers. In Bostic, Theodore Olson of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher and David Boies of Boies, Schiller & Flexner were co-lead counsel. Olson argued in the Fourth Circuit. Representatives from Gibson Dunn and Boies Schiller declined to comment about fees.




Shortly after Judge Osteen gave plaintiffs until Monday to respond to intervention of legislative leaders in one same-sex marriage case in Greensboro, a federal judge in the Western District struck down a same-sex marriage ban in a case brought by the United Church of Christ and has denied legislative leaders’ request for intervention. QNotes reports:

A federal judge in North Carolina’s Western District has issued an order permanently prohibiting defendants in a United Church of Christ lawsuit against North Carolina’s anti-LGBT amendment from enforcing the ban. Additionally, the judge denied Republican state leaders’ motion to intervene in the case.

U.S. District Court Judge Max O. Cogburn, Jr., issued his two orders shortly after 5 p.m.

“Defendants are PERMANENTLY ENJOINED from enforcing such laws to the extent these laws prohibit a person from marrying another person of the same gender, prohibit recognition of same-sex marriages lawfully solemnized in other States, Territories, or a District of the United States, or seek to punish in any way clergy or other officiants who solemnize the union of same-sex couples,” Cogburn wrote.

More from QNotes


Equality NC has information for LGBTQ couples looking to get married here:


Thursday night after Tillis and Berger filed a motion seeking 8 days to compile legal arguments against marriage equality, Chief U.S. District Court Judge William Osteen Jr. denied the legislators’ request for delay, giving them instead a deadline of noon Friday to lay out their case. WRAL reports:

Chief U.S. District Court Judge William Osteen Jr. set a noon Friday deadline for them to lay out their legal arguments in the case, rejecting their request to delay any decision in the matter until at least Oct. 17.
Read More


As reported, and just in time for tonight’s U.S. Senate debate between state speaker Thom Tillis and U.S. Senator Kay Hagan, the speaker and his counterpart in the state senate President Phil Berger have moved to intervene in two of the lawsuits challenging North Carolina’s ban on same-sex marriage.

The brief filed in support of their motion is here.


With Attorney General Roy Cooper refusing to defend Amendment One in the courts, Tillis and Berger have formally filed to intervene, retaining John Eastman of the National Organization for Marriage as primary counsel and meeting a 5 p.m. deadline for action set by a federal judge.

Qnotes reports:

Republican leaders in North Carolina submitted their motion to intervene in two same-sex marriage cases shortly after 4 p.m., meeting a Greensboro, N.C., federal judge’s 5 p.m. deadline.

U.S. District Court Judge WIlliam Osteen released his order shortly after 3 p.m., dismissing all defendants with the exception of Attorney General Roy Cooper, who has already said he will no longer defend the anti-LGBT constitutional amendment passed by voters in May 2012.


In a motion filed late Thursday evening, Tillis’ and Berger’s attorneys asked Osteen to give them eight additional days — up to Oct. 17 — to submit arguments against legalizing same-sex marriage.

Read More