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Gay marriages could begin by next week in Va.

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) -- Same-sex couples could begin marrying as early as next week in Virginia after a federal appeals court refused Wednesday to delay its ruling that struck down the state's gay marriage ban.

The state would also need to start recognizing gay marriages from out of state next Wednesday, though the U.S. Supreme Court could effectively put same-sex marriages on hold again if opponents of same-sex marriage are able to win an emergency delay.

A county clerk in northern Virginia had asked the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond to stay its decision striking down the ban, issued in late July, while it is appealed to the high court. The appeals court's order did not explain why it denied that request.

The 4th Circuit decision "shows that there's no longer a justification to keep same-sex couples from marrying," said Nancy Leong, a law professor at the University of Denver. "Given how many different judges in so many different parts of the country ... have reached the same result, it seems highly likely that the plaintiffs will ultimately prevail on the merits, and I think that, in turn, explains why the 4th Circuit was not willing to grant a stay."

While clerks in other states within the 4th Circuit -- West Virginia and the Carolinas -- wouldn't technically have to begin issuing licenses as well, federal courts in the state would likely make them if they don't, Leong said.

Attorneys general in the Carolinas did not indicate whether they'd direct clerks to begin issuing licenses along with Virginia. Following the initial ruling last month, North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper announced that his office will stop defending his state's ban. A spokesman for South Carolina's attorney general, Alan Wilson, said he sees no need to stop defending that state's ban. Officials in West Virginia did not immediately comment. Maryland, another state in the circuit, already allows same-sex marriages.

Ken Connelly, legal counsel for Alliance Defending Freedom, which is representing Prince William County Clerk of Court Michele B. McQuigg in the case, said the group will seek an emergency stay from the nation's highest court "as soon as possible." That request will go to Chief Justice John Roberts, who is responsible for the 4th Circuit.

Connelly said he expects the stay to be granted, "given that there isn't any substantive difference" between the Virginia case and a federal case in Utah, in which the Supreme Court has twice granted delays in the state's fight to keep its same-sex marriage ban.

But Adam Umhoefer, executive director of the American Foundation for Equal Rights, which argued against Virginia's gay marriage ban, said "Virginia's loving, committed gay and lesbian couples and their children should not be asked to wait one more day for their fundamental right to marry."

Virginia voters approved a constitutional amendment in 2006 that banned gay marriage and prohibited the recognition of such marriages performed in other states. The appeals court ruling overturning that ban was the third such ruling by a federal appeals court and the first in the South.

While Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring noted the possibility that the Supreme Court could issue its own delay, he welcomed the 4th Circuit's move.

"No one anticipated we would be this close this quickly to the day when all Virginians have the right to marry the person they love," Herring said in a statement. "That will be a historic day for our commonwealth and a joyous day for thousands of loving couples."

Herring -- who has said he will not defend the state's ban and believes the courts ruled correctly in striking it down -- asked the Supreme Court last week to review a lower court's decision striking down the state's ban.

Herring said he believes the case will prove compelling to the high court because of the "stringent, discriminatory nature of Virginia's marriage ban" and other factors.

A panel of the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati last week considered arguments regarding six cases from Michigan, Ohio, Kentucky and Tennessee. Some observers have said the 6th Circuit may be the first to uphold statewide gay marriage bans after more than 20 consecutive rulings in the past eight months striking them down.

Associated Press writers Alan Suderman in Richmond and Brady McCombs in Salt Lake City contributed to this report.


When, when did you say? Forgive me if I doubt your veracity, fedupdude.

I only said two things about Delgaudio, 1) He would lose the copy right case and he did, paid the photographer. 2) I didn’t think he would get reimbursed for fighting the recall, that I was wrong about.

Other than that I just call him and embarrassment and likely a closeted self hater.

Aren’t you the soothsayer that had Delgaudio hanging from the highest tree, yes! You bought into the hysteria perpetuated by the losers Flannery, Miller, Neveraz and Sterling Deserves Better and you were spanked on all fronts. Playing semantic games is not your long suit maybe you should try some current facts? After the Otis Redding song the President you voted for has been given the Mr. Pitiful title which you share just on a smaller scale. Quinnipac says 50% support smokers and bandits getting married not 56%. I was going to say you are wrong on occasion but I think it would be safer to say you are correct on occasion though they are few and far between.

Wow you take loosing badly.

Maybe there is a new poll out there, something within the last 6 or 8 months to back your feeble argument. You are all over the place from donations, Herring, High Court, spell check and now want a re-vote on the marriage ban. You get the pointy tin hat again today but that’s the norm isn’t it. Next you’ll try and say that Ed Gillespie did not whip Warner is their last debate.

oranges869 - The poll was done by Christopher Newport University last October and found 56% of state residents now support same sex marriage and 86% want to see $100 limits to gifts and donations to politicians. I would post a link to the story but they blocked it here.

I love how you are losing the political battle so you have to pick on a spelling mistake. You can smell the desperation.

Let’s see you are willing to vote anew because polls favor your point of view even though you wouldn’t abide by the outcome unless it allowed deviant souls to marry! You failure is not mine so cowboy up and admit you made a mistake when you told us doubters.
What’s a resent poll? Are you annoyed with someone or has your mother turned your spelling check off?
What happened to Devils Advocate did the facts bother him?

oranges869 - You are so desperate to turn this victory into a fail. You cannot even see how this case (and Utah’s) could end the whole debate nation wide or how Herring has been hoping this would happen the whole time to force the high court to make a ruling that binds the whole nation.

If you don’t want to stand by your statement that’s alright. If, ands and maybe’s but you sure told us didn’t you? Seems like a limp deadline to me, does something smell fishy?

FredSanford - Your statement that it is a biological dead end has not been correct for decades. With modern technology people are having children using their DNA implanted in a segregate womb. A male gay couple had twins in Texas last month, each on of the twins was biologically related to one of each of the men.

oranges869 - What don’t you understand about the word could? This story is about a victory in the federal courts and how the SCOTUS could take the case.

Love = Love

double talk much, relook at the headline. are you related to Flannery??

Egg on my face I 100% said this would happen (SCOTUS putting a stay on it) my prediction was victory on the appeal which it was, I called it.

Next step is SCOTUS ruling 5-4 or maybe even 6-3 in favor just like the DOMA and Prop 8 Case then that makes gay marriage a nation wide right.

The whole homosexual marriage debate is little more than homosexuals looking for state sanctioned legitimacy of their disgusting behavior.

Biologically speaking, homosexuality is a biological DEAD END.

Someone who shall remain nameless didn’t listen to me and now has egg on his face because of his “told you doubters” comment. This commenters batting average is in the porcelain popper!

@ devils, call the red cross and tell them you have had sex with a man if you are a man and see what they say when you offer to give blood or donate your organs!

Gay couples can conceive their own child, it just wont be a mix of the two of them. Children nor religion has anything to do with getting married which is why the courts are siding with gay couples.

“Gay men dirty the blood supply and organ donation pool…”

That might be the most ignorant and homophobic comment I have ever seen.  What? You don’t think the Red Cross has ever turned away a heterosexual donor?  Your opinions and beliefs make it impossible to take you, or anything you say seriously.  Dirty the blood supply…that’s a good one.  Next thing you’re gonna tell me is that you don’t want “colored” blood either.

And don’t even get me started on the conception argument.  If only YOUR parents had failed…think of how better off we might all be.

And a lack of discrimination is not a right to marry. When gay men and women can conceive on their own they will be equal. As it is gay men dirty the blood supply and organ donation pool to the point that they are not wanted nor included!

More equal,funny the SCOTUS has called it equality under the 14A. Right now its discrimination.

We should vote again, a resent poll shows 56% of Virginians support gay marriage.


You have not told us anything you are just riding the hysterical more equal crowd theatrics. Until the Supreme Court rules the states laws should stand. For 2 judges to overturn a ban that over a million people voted for is asinine, What next gays as a small percentage of the population get favorable treatment when it comes to employment?

Told you doubters

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