- Associated Press - Thursday, January 8, 2015

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) - North Carolina legislative leaders say they’ll ask the U.S. Supreme Court to quickly hear their appeal seeking to reverse lower-court rulings that legalized gay marriage in the state.

Senate leader Phil Berger and likely House Speaker Tim Moore said Thursday the two Republicans will ask the nation’s highest court to hear the North Carolina case before a lower appeals court in Richmond, Virginia.

Federal judges in Greensboro and Asheville ruled in October that the state constitution’s amendment banning gay marriage was unconstitutional. The rulings came after the Supreme Court refused to hear a case that overturned Virginia’s similar ban.

Berger and former House Speaker Thom Tillis were allowed by the Greensboro federal judge to intervene. Attorney General Roy Cooper said all potential legal defenses are exhausted.

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