US -Virginia: Yesterday afternoon, the United States federal 4th Judicial district judges declared that the outright ban on same-sex marriage in the state of Virginia was unconstitutional and a violation of individual rights.
This decision is significant because it also renders unconstitutional similar marriage bans in North Carolina, South Carolina and West Virginia – states that are part of the 4th Circuit. Same-sex marriage is already legal in Maryland, which is also in the circuit. This marks the second time that an appellate-level court has ruled on state marriage bans following the dismantling of a key section of the federal Defense of Marriage Act last summer, and sets the stage for the Supreme Court to consider state-level laws. On Wednesday, the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals struck down Utah’s gay marriage ban. The precedent from that ruling also applies to Utah, Wyoming, Colorado, Kansas and Oklahoma. “Today’s decision stands as a testament that all Americans are created equal and denying loving gay and lesbian couples the opportunity to marry is indefensible,” said Theodore B. Olson, lead co-counsel for the plaintiffs in Bostic v. Rainey, a court case aimed at overturning Virginia’s same-sex marriage ban.
As in other similar decisions, a temporary stay has been put in place pending any appeals.
Congratulations to ALL our brothers and sisters in the great states of North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia and West Virginia!!