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North Carolina lawmakers ask Supreme Court to hear same-sex marriage appeal

File: Gay rights advocate Vin Testa waves a rainbow flag in front of the Supreme Court in Washington in 2013.  (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

North Carolina lawmakers said they will file a petition this week with the U.S. Supreme Court to hear its appeal regarding marriage for same-sex couples.

“We’ve said all along North Carolina voters deserve to have their voices heard, and this important issue won’t ever be settled until a final decision is made by the U.S. Supreme Court,” Sen. Phil Berger (R) said in a statement.

The North Carolina legislature banned marriage between same-sex couples in 1996, and in 2012, voters approved a constitutional amendment defining marriage as between a man and a woman. In November, a federal judge struck down the state’s marriage ban.

The Supreme Court declined to hear appeals for marriage cases in five states in October, but will possibly decide to take up cases later Friday. Berger said the petition for the court to hear North Carolina’s legal arguments was “the most efficient and cost-effective way to reach a final resolution.”

If the Supreme Court decides to hear cases on the issue, they could be from Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Ohio, and Tennessee.

“Regardless of where you stand on the ultimate issue, it is important to protect the will of the North Carolina voters who overwhelmingly approved a constitutional amendment,” Rep. Tim Moore (R) said in a statement.