Court Dumps Virginia's Gay Marriage Ban

US circuit court says state ban is unconstitutional

By Newser Editors and Wire Services

Posted Jul 28, 2014 12:42 PM CDT

(Newser) – A federal appeals court has struck down Virginia's same-sex marriage ban. A three-judge panel of the 4th US Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond ruled today that state constitutional and statutory provisions barring gay marriage and denying recognition of such unions performed in other states violate the US Constitution. The Virginia gay marriage case is one of several that could go to the US Supreme Court.

In February, US District Judge Arenda Wright Allen ruled that Virginia's same-sex marriage ban violates equal protection and due process guarantees. Lawyers for two circuit court clerks whose duties include issuing marriage licenses appealed. The lawsuit was filed by two Norfolk men who were denied a marriage license and two Chesterfield County women whose marriage in California is not recognized by Virginia.

In this Feb. 4, 2014 file photo, Spencer Geiger, left, of Virginia Beach, and Carl Johanson of Norfolk hold signs as they demonstrate outside  Federal Court in Norfolk, Va.
In this Feb. 4, 2014 file photo, Spencer Geiger, left, of Virginia Beach, and Carl Johanson of Norfolk hold signs as they demonstrate outside Federal Court in Norfolk, Va.   (AP Photo/Steve Helber, File)
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