Roughly 5 percent of North Carolina's magistrates are refusing to marry same-sex couples for religious reasons and lawyers for the state say people suing in federal court have no standing to challenge these opt-outs as unconstitutional.
More than 40 House Democrats have signed a formal protest complaining how Republicans got legislation passed that exempts some court officials from performing gay marriage duties on religious objections.
Gov. Pat McCrory's veto of a bill that would allow some North Carolina court officials to refuse to perform gay marriage activities because of religious objections has been negated by the state Senate.
A federal court has cleared the way for gay couples to be married in South Carolina.
The 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond, Virginia, on Tuesday denied state Attorney General Alan Wilson's request to block the marriages while it hears his appeal.