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Federal Judge Rules Same-Sex Marriage Ban in Virginia Unconstitutional
Late Thursday, a federal judge issued a ruling that Virginia’s ban on gay marriage is unconstitutional, according to reports from The Huffington Post and the Associated Press.
The ruling states: “The Court finds Va. Const. Art. I, § 15-A, Va. Code §§ 20-45.2, 20-45.3, and any other Virginia law that bars same-sex marriage or prohibits Virginia’s recognition of lawful same-sex marriages from other jurisdictions unconstitutional. These laws deny Plaintiffs their rights to due process and equal protection guaranteed under the Fourteenth Amendment of the United States Constitution.”
U.S. District Judge Arenda L. Wright Allen wrote the following about the decision: “Our Constitution declares that ‘all men’ are created equal. Surely this means all of us. While ever vigilant for the wisdom that can come from the voices of our voting public, our courts have never long tolerated the perpetuation of laws rooted in unlawful prejudice. One of the judiciary’s noblest endeavors is to scrutinize law that emerge from such roots.”
The judge also stayed the order issued, which means appeals are allowed. This also means that nothing changes for same-sex couples right now. The suit was originally filed by Tim Bostic and Tony London and Carol Schall and Mary Townley.
The Democratic attorney general in Virginia, Mark Herring, announced his support for same-sex couples who want to obtain marriage licenses in the state.
“After thorough legal review, I have now concluded that Virginia’s ban on marriage between same sex couples violates the Fourteenth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution on two grounds: marriage is a fundamental right being denied to some Virginians, and the ban unlawfully discriminates on the basis of both sexual orientation and gender,” Herring said back in January.
This is not the first ruling this week either. On Wednesday, a judge in Kentucky ruled that the state has to recognize same-sex marriages that are performed in other states. The judge did not issue a ruling on same-sex marriages performed in Kentucky.Federal Judge Rules Same-Sex Marriage Ban in Virginia Unconstitutional by Jim Vassallo