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North Carolina Gay Marriage Ban Challenged By County Official

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ASHEVILLE, N.C. -- ASHEVILLE, N.C. (AP) — A county official in North Carolina says he will accept marriage license applications from same-sex couples and seek an opinion from North Carolina's top lawyer.

A 2012 amendment to North Carolina's Constitution forbids same-sex couples from marrying. But Buncombe County Register of Deeds Drew Reisinger said Monday he will hold the licenses and then ask state Attorney General Roy Cooper for legal advice.

Reisinger said he had been forced to deny same-sex marriage licenses to "upstanding citizens," and he felt like that was not fair.

However, Cooper's spokeswoman Noelle Talley said in a written statement "these marriage licenses cannot be issued."

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.

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