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NC Officials Preparing For Influx Of Same-Sex Couples Looking To Marry

Chantelle and Marcie Fisher-Borne and family
Jorge Valencia

Craig Johnson and Shawn Long are being cautious. The U.S. Supreme Court's refusal on Monday to hear five pending same-sex marriage cases could possibly lead to gay marriage in North Carolina -- if a federal judge in Greensboro issues an order for it.

Still, Johnson and Long are making plans. If they are allowed to marry, they plan to do it quickly, and not waste time making elaborate plans.

"Sean has said from day one, our plan is to -- as soon as possible -- have the marriage codified, but then take some time and plan for a celebration afterwards, probably early next year," Johnson said.

U.S. District Court Judge William Osteen has told lawyers to submit briefs on how to move forward in overturning North Carolina's ban.

Chantelle and Marcie Fisher-Borne were among those who heard the news that Osteen could issue an order striking down the state's marriage amendment. The two have been a couple for 17 years.

Chantelle started talking to their two children about the possibility of celebrating with chocolate cake and blueberries.

"So we hope that Judge Osteen will let the celebration of love...," Chantelle said, but she is interrupted by her son Ely who makes sure that she knows the cake should have "a lot of blueberries!"

"He wants a lot of blueberries. He's clarifying," Chantelle said. "We hope that Judge Osteen will let the celebration of love, commitment and family begin really soon."

The Fisher-Bornes are one of the couples suing the state for gay marriage.

The AP reports that the state is readying for "an influx of "same-sex couples seeking marriage certificates."

North Carolina's top lawyer has advised local officials to prepare for an influx of same-sex couples seeking marriage certificates following a federal judge's ruling expected within days. Attorney General Roy Cooper said Tuesday that county registers of deeds should expect a ruling from the federal judge striking down the state's ban on same-sex marriages "relatively soon."

State lawmakers say they will defend the definition of marriage as a union between a man and a woman.

Jorge Valencia has been with North Carolina Public Radio since 2012. A native of Bogotá, Colombia, Jorge studied journalism at the University of Maryland and reported for four years for the Roanoke Times in Virginia before joining the station. His reporting has also been published in the Wall Street Journal, the Miami Herald, and the Baltimore Sun.
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