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Lawmakers get legal help with NC marriage case

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RALEIGH, N.C. -

Republican legislative leaders say they've received outside legal help on a federal lawsuit challenging the 2012 constitutional amendment limiting marriage to a man and a woman in North Carolina.

Senate leader Phil Berger and House Speaker Thom Tillis said Friday the General Assembly isn't formally intervening in the lawsuit right now but wants eyes on the case to ensure Attorney General Roy Cooper defends the amendment.

Cooper's critics have questioned his effectiveness in lawsuits after announcing his support for gay marriage and opposition to election law changes also being challenged. Cooper says he can separate personal views from professional obligations.

An attorney for the Alliance Defending Freedom is providing the free legal advice to legislative leaders.

Gov. Pat McCrory and the legislature already have outside counsel for the election lawsuits.

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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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