CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Hundreds are rallying Tuesday night to celebrate the landmark decision that could mean gay marriage could soon happen here in North Carolina, among them is a couple NBC Charlotte has followed for more than a year.

Scott Bishop and Ron Sperry knew it would happen. Still they were heartbroken.

"I was hopeful going in there, but very disappointed leaving there," Bishop remembers.

Our cameras were there last October when the couple of 17 years was turned away trying to get a marriage license in Charlotte.

The Plaza Midwood couple married anyway-- in Massachusetts.

Now they're hoping to do it again, this time in Charlotte, thanks to a U.S. Court of Appeals decision to strike down a Virginia law that bans gay marriage-- a law very similar to North Carolina's Amendment One.

ACLU attorney Chris Brooks told reporters Tuesday he plans to ask that the law be thrown out.

"It is a matter, at this point, not if Amendment One is struck down, but when Amendment One is struck down, and the freedom to marry is recognized here in North Carolina."

The precedent-setting decision in Virginia means gay couples in North Carolina could potentially get married as early as next month.

The state attorney general says he can't, and won't, defend a law that's been deemed unconstitutional.

Still some state leaders have said the General Assembly may pick up the fight since voters approved the gay marriage ban just two years ago.

Bishop, though, is hopeful he will soon don his wedding suit again, this time in his hometown.

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