Cooper defends gay marriage stance following opinions in VA, KY - WRBL

Cooper defends gay marriage stance following opinions in VA, KY

Posted: Updated:
N.C. Attorney General Roy Cooper has publicly criticized the state's gay marriage ban, while promising to defend it in court. N.C. Attorney General Roy Cooper has publicly criticized the state's gay marriage ban, while promising to defend it in court.
RALEIGH, N.C. -

North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper says he still intends to stand up in favor of the state's same-sex marriage ban in federal court, even though he personally disagrees with it.

The comments come after two other Southern Democratic attorneys general called their state's bans unconstitutional and refused to defend the laws.

"I have a job, as Attorney General, and that job is to defend the state," Cooper told WNCN.

On Tuesday, Kentucky Attorney General Jack Conway teared up in front of reporters as he announced his decision not to appeal a federal judge's ruling that the state must allow same-sex couples to marry.  Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring took a similar stance last month when a judge struck down his state's ban.

Cooper, who plans to run for governor in 2016, says each state is different and he's trying to do what's best for North Carolina.

"I can do my job as Attorney General, but I can still express my views on public policy and I'll continue to do that," Cooper said.

But Cooper's stance, defending a law while publicly criticizing it, has won him few friends across the aisle.  In fact, Republicans even secured their own pro bono lawyer to defend the marriage ban.

"He [Cooper] can't speak for the state since his opinion now is exactly contrary to the constitution of the state of North Carolina," Wake County Representative Paul "Skip" Stam told WNCN in October.

But with polls also showing acceptance of gay marriage on the rise, one political observer says Cooper's stance could also be tough to swallow for Democratic primary voters.

"I think support for gay marriage is very popular among the Democratic base, which is what you need to win the primaries," N.C. State University political science professor Steven Greene said, "and if he is not seen as sufficiently supportive, that leaves an opening or space for a candidate on his left to come in and take the primary away potentially."

Both sides of the marriage lawsuit are still awaiting a Greensboro judge's ruling on whether that lawsuit can move forward.  The state has asked that it be thrown out.

Derick Waller

Derick is a reporter for WNCN covering crime, education, politics and just about everything in between. He has a knack for adapting to any story and consistently delivers information quickly across multiple platforms. More>>

  • PoliticsMore>>

  • GOP presidential prospects tout faith in the national anthem

    GOP presidential prospects tout faith in the national anthem

    Sunday, September 14 2014 7:40 PM EDT2014-09-14 23:40:08 GMT
    File PhotoFile Photo
    Two possible Republican presidential candidates are touting the nation's religious heritage as part of a webcast marking the 200th anniversary of the national anthem.
    Two possible Republican presidential candidates are touting the nation's religious heritage as part of a webcast marking the 200th anniversary of the national anthem.
  • Groups aiming to help NC legislative Democrats

    Groups aiming to help NC legislative Democrats

    Sunday, September 14 2014 3:52 PM EDT2014-09-14 19:52:20 GMT
    File PhotoFile Photo
    Groups in the shadow of traditional campaigns are poised to once again attempt to influence N.C. General Assembly races through ads and mailers bought with millions of dollars largely from companies and politically-minded organizations.
    Groups in the shadow of traditional campaigns are poised to once again attempt to influence N.C. General Assembly races through ads and mailers bought with millions of dollars largely from companies and politically-minded organizations.
  • NC courts sort voucher law, students stay in class

    NC courts sort voucher law, students stay in class

    Saturday, September 13 2014 10:12 AM EDT2014-09-13 14:12:58 GMT
    A North Carolina appeals court could rule as early as this week whether nearly $11 million in taxpayer money should pay tuition for hundreds of low-income children to enroll in private schools.
    A North Carolina appeals court could rule as early as this week whether nearly $11 million in taxpayer money should pay tuition for hundreds of low-income children to enroll in private schools.
Powered by WorldNow

1350 13th Avenue
Columbus, GA 31901

Telephone: 706.323.3333
Fax: 706.327.6655
Email: news@wrbl.com

Can't find something?
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Media General Communications Holdings, LLC. A Media General Company.