CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Kanawha County Clerk Vera McCormick asked a federal judge Tuesday to give her more time to file a response to a lawsuit filed against her that challenges the state's ban on gay marriage.
McCormick and Cabell County Clerk Karen Cole are being sued in federal court by three couples who say West Virginia's marriage ban violates the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution and unfairly discriminates against same-sex couples and their children.
Late Tuesday afternoon, U.S. District Judge Robert C. Chambers directed attorneys for the three same-sex couples to respond to McCormick's motion for more time by Thursday.
Attorneys with Lambda Legal, a national civil rights organization, filed the lawsuit Oct. 1. McCormick's response was due Wednesday. Cole's response is due Oct. 29.
In a motion asking for more time, McCormick wrote that she first reached out to attorneys for the plaintiffs, who would not agree to an extension.
Because a constitutional question is being raised, McCormick wants to know if Attorney General Patrick Morrisey will step in.
Morrisey's office has not responded but has 60 days from the filing of the lawsuit to intervene, McCormick's filing Tuesday states.
"The result of this litigation will have far ranging effects on each and every citizen in the state of West Virginia and each and every Clerk for the County Commission of each county in West Virginia," McCormick's attorneys, Charles Bailey and Michael Taylor, wrote.
McCormick "has no discretion with respect to the acceptance of marriage application[s]," her motion states.