North Carolina's attorney general says prosecutors will drop their opposition to challenges to the state's same-sex marriage ban in the wake of a federal appeals court decision affecting a similar prohibition in Virginia.

Attorney General Roy Cooper said at a news conference Monday that the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruling means North Carolina's constitutional ban on gay marriage likely will be overturned.  He says it's time for attorneys representing the state to "stop making arguments we will lose."

The 4th Circuit court in Richmond, Virginia, ruled Monday that Virginia's same-sex marriage ban is unconstitutional. The decision could overturn similar prohibitions in other states the court covers, including North Carolina, where voters approved a constitutional ban on same-sex marriage in 2012.