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Cooper won't block ACLU's NC gay marriage ban case

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RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) - The legal forum for challenging North Carolina's constitutional ban on same-sex marriages is taking shape in a Greensboro federal court.

The ACLU and Attorney General Roy Cooper's office said Friday that Cooper won't fight the civil-rights organization expanding an existing lawsuit against a state law which says unmarried couples cannot be recognized as equal parents.

Cooper is defending the state in that lawsuit. Spokeswoman Noelle Talley says Cooper won't oppose expanding the case because both the marriage and equal adoption laws were headed to court, so combining them into one case will be more efficient.

NC Values Coalition executive director Tami Fitzgerald says Cooper is making a mistake. North Carolina voters adopted the constitutional ban on same-sex marriage in May 2012.

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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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