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U.S. Appeals Court panel rules Va. same-sex marriage unconstitutional

A panel for the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals today upheld a lower court's ruling that strikes down Virginia's ban on same-sex marriage.

The three-person court panel ruled the 2006 amendment to the state constitution, which defines marriage as between a man and a woman, violates the equal protection clause of the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. That was the same conclusion U.S. Judge Arenda L. Wright Allen reached in February when considering the marriage ban.

The panel's decision won't be enacted for at least 21 days while circuit clerks decide whether to appeal to the full appellate court or the Supreme Court, according to the attorney general's office. Court observers have speculated Virginia's gay marriage case will wind up in the Supreme Court.

In addition to Virginia, the 4th Circuit includes North Carolina, South Carolina, West Virginia and Maryland.

Democratic Gov. Terry McAuliffe called the ruling “historic” and said it will “affirm once against that Virginia is a state that is open and welcoming to all.”

“I am overjoyed by the news that, as a result of today’s ruling, Virginia will become a state where two people who love each other can get married regardless of their sexual orientation,” McAulife said in a prepared statement. “I want to thank Attorney General Mark Herring for his leadership in this case, and all of the men and women who fought for years to make this day a reality. Progress does not always come as quickly as we hope it will, but today is yet another example of how justice, equality and the people who fight for those values will always persevere in the end.”

Shortly after taking office in January, Herring, a Democrat, announced the commonwealth would side with two gay couples in Virginia who were using the courts to challenge the state's marriage ban. Herring's view opposes that of previous attorney general, Ken Cuccinelli.

-Trevor Baratko


Who cares, let them marry so they can pay the higher taxes(marriage penalty tax).

SCOTUS has already ruled in favor of gays twice on 14A rulings and have so far refused cases like these making the appeals court ruling law. Face it oranges869 gay marriage is going to be finalized in VA, WV, NC, and SC within a year.

Nothing accomplished until the Supreme Court weighs in. Just more court cannon-fodder for suckers. Must be a acquired taste, yikes!

Jonathan..congratulations! You have more admirers in the community than you will ever know. Thanks for fighting the good fight.

I’m grateful for all we’ve accomplished over the past decade, all the alliances we’ve made, the minds we’ve changed, the debates we’ve won, and most importantly, the opportunity to demonstrate that marriage is not a vulgar act of “insert tab a into slot b” but a sacred bond between two adults.

I truly feel sorry for the people who don’t get it and never will. I’m talking specifically about the Heritage Foundation’s Ryan T. Anderson, the Colson Center’s John Stonestreet, and our retiring Congressman Frank Wolf who wasted 5 minutes of his precious time berating his own Presbyterian church on the House floor over this matter.
Congratulations. Pop the champagne, soon. And as they sang in “My Fair Lady.”

I’m getting married in the morning!
Ding dong! The bells are gonna chime.
Pull out the stopper!
Let’s have a whopper!
But get me to the church on time!

Warning - hyperbole alert

Thanks to the efforts of Senator Neumann, Delegate Marshall, The [anti] Family Foundation, Focus on the Family, the American Family Association, Prison Fellowship Ministries, Patrick Henry College, all of the political churches and all of the misguided voters, we have been denied our liberty and constitutional rights since 2006. Let’s tally the costs.
1. so called “marriage protection” legislation in 2005.
2. two consecutive legislative sessions to put the unconstitutional amendment on the ballot.
3. the amendment 1 vote.
4. changes to Virginia’s constitution
5. punitive damages to all the couples who have been denied their rights for eight years.
6. court costs times two
7. changes to Virginia’s constitution, again
Now, we can add to this the cost to train of political activists who cycled through a long list of failed arguments; “the Bible,” “tradition,” “for 5000 years,” “always been that way,” “not a right,” “complimentarity,” “natural marriage,” “every child needs a mother and a father,” “reproduction,” “parental rights,” “protecting children,” “anti-christian persecution” and finally “religious liberty.”
And the cost to GLBT people, their friends and families as they endured this dehumanizing drone of talking points, many originating from politicians we elected and taxpayer funded non-profits that spend more of our tax dollars propping up politicians than they do providing public services.
Wow, what a long list of costs. It’s like, it’s an industry, an anti-gay industry that does nothing but harm some people and take money from other people in order to build institutions to inflict more harm. Well, it’s time to ante up. Where’s our check?
Or to paraphrase one frequent commenter:
“What a waste of taxpayer money. Let this this be a perfect example of the [fill in the blank] mean spirits costing us taxpayers!”

@Orange. The unintended consequences of larding up the marriage benefits to punish people for “shacking up” was gays wanting in on the government handouts. The right owns this failed social engineering project.

If the financial benefits for being married were removed would the outcry for gay marriage diminish greatly? Answer, yes!

Good to see we have an Attorney General who’s more concerned with fidelity to the U.S. Constitution than to a narrow political interest.

Not surprising, these laws are clearly violating the 14A

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