NC Attorney General Criticized For Public Support Of Gay Marriage

DURHAM, N.C. (AP) - A Durham attorney running for governor in 2016 says it's logically inconsistent for expected gubernatorial candidate Roy Cooper to oppose election and marriage laws while defending them in court as North Carolina's attorney general.

Ken Spaulding said Wednesday that Cooper should appoint an independent counsel to represent the state in lawsuits challenging the election law and a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage or recuse himself from the cases. Spaulding and Cooper are both Democrats.

Cooper has said his office has shown it can successfully defend the state in litigation no matter what his personal views are.

Spaulding says Cooper's decision to remain on the cases is costing taxpayers additional money. Republican Gov. Pat McCrory hired private counsel to defend the election law because of Cooper's public statements about the law.
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PREVIOUS STORY, October 15, 2013
An official in western North Carolina has accepted a marriage license request from a same sex couple.

Buncombe County Register of Deeds Drew Reisinger on Tuesday morning accepted the request from Brenda Clark and Carol McCrory. They say they've been together for 25 years.

McCrory praised Reisinger for his courage in accepting their marriage license request. He says he'll accept the license request and send it to the office of North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper.

Reisinger says he thinks the state's ban on same-sex marriage is unconstitutional.

Cooper said Monday he supports gay marriage. But he has said he'll defend the state's constitutional ban on gay marriage.

A spokeswoman for Cooper's office said the marriage licenses cannot be issued.

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)


Previous Story

The Buncombe County Register of Deeds says he's going to accept marriage license applications from same-sex couples.

A 2012 amendment to North Carolina's Constitution forbids same-sex couples from marrying. But Drew Reisinger said Tuesday he will issue the licenses and ask state Attorney General Roy Cooper for legal advice.

The Campaign for Southern Equality has been going from county to county, trying to find someone to issue marriage licenses for same-sex couples as part of its "We Do" campaign.

Group spokesman Aaron Sarver says same-sex couples will show up Tuesday at the Register of Deeds office in Asheville to apply for licenses.

Reisinger's announcement came hours after Cooper revealed he supports same-sex marriage. But Cooper also said his personal views won't prevent him from defending North Carolina's ban in court.

A spokeswoman for Cooper said the licenses can't be issued. "The State Constitution says that these marriage licenses cannot be issued and this is the law unless the Constitution is changed or the court says otherwise. This very issue is the subject of pending litigation against the State of North Carolina," said Noelle Talley.

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)


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