RALEIGH—The anticipation continues to build statewide as many wait for a federal judge to decide on whether same-sex marriage will be legal in North Carolina.

State Republican leaders are making their case to see the ban is not overturned. They have until 12 p.m. Friday to file their complete motions.

Senate president pro tem Phil Berger and House Speaker Thom Tillis said they are protecting a voter-approved amendment to the constitution that defines marriage as being between one man and one woman.

Many same-sex couples were standing by at courthouses across the state with hopes that they ban would be overturned. However, there was a last minute move by state Republican leaders to try and uphold North Carolina’s constitutional ban on same-sex marriage that voters put in place in 2012.

Earlier this week, North Carolina’s attorney general Roy Cooper said there aren’t any arguments left when it comes to defending the state’s ban on same-sex marriage.

Cooper’s remarks came after the U.S. Supreme Court refused to block same-sex marriages in other states. Now GOP leaders are taking it upon themselves to fight for the ban.

“Tillis and Berger have had two years if they wanted to be part of this case, hire a lawyer and make arguments and they didn’t so they can’t now try to intervene. It’s something they can’t do, they have no legal standing,” said Shawn Long.

On Thursday, the GOP leaders were denied a request for an 8-day extension by a U.S. District Court judge in Greensboro.

Senate president pro tem Phil Berger and House Speaker Thom Tillis said they are protecting a voter-approved amendment to the constitution that defines marriage as being between one man and one woman.

Courthouses in North Carolina have already been put on notice to have same-sex marriage forms ready in case the marriages are declared legal.

– Linnie Supall