Delay denied: Same-sex marriage could come to Va. in a week

Posted August 13, 2014

— A federal appeals court refused Wednesday to delay its ruling striking down Virginia's gay marriage ban, which means that same-sex couples could begin marrying in the state as early as next week.

The state would also need to start recognizing marriages from out of state by next Wednesday, assuming the U.S. Supreme Court does not intervene.

A county clerk in northern Virginia had asked the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond to stay its decision, 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.

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.

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.

The ruling in Virginia sets a precedent for federal challenges to North Carolina's very similar ban, and backers of same-sex marriage have said they would mount a challenge in the Tar Heel State.

North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper said he will cease defending the state ban in light of the court's ruling. 

Last week, a panel of the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati 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.


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  • Eq Videri Aug 14, 2014

    Three important factual clarifications to this story:

    "The ruling in Virginia sets a precedent for federal challenges to North Carolina's very similar ban..."

    FACT: The Bostic ruling becomes precedent only once it is final -- which it won't be if the U.S. Supreme Court takes the case.

    FACT: Even if Bostic stands, applying its holding to the pending NC cases could take weeks or months. It would not be instantaneous, as this story erroneously suggests.

    "North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper said he will cease defending the state ban in light of the court's ruling."

    FACT: There are multiple other defendants in the NC cases, any of whom can continue to defend themselves in the lawsuits. It's not all up to Cooper alone. Whether the plaintiffs' shotgun strategy of suing multiple parties was wise is debatable.

  • George Herbert Aug 14, 2014

    View quoted thread

    We are not a Christian nation. And even if we were, there are Christian denominations that will perform same-sex marriages.

    An unconstitutional law cannot be allowed to stand. I keep waiting for the U.S. Supreme Court to end this discrimination once and for all.

  • Terry Watts Aug 14, 2014

    View quoted thread


  • heelhawk Aug 14, 2014

    View quoted thread

    Unfortunate that despite the intentions of the founding fathers to make this nation independent from specific religious dogmas, you continue to perpetuate the theocratic rhetoric the country was established to avoid. As a Christian, you deserve exactly the same level of respect as you give to those of different faiths, religions, and viewpoints. JUDGES 11:27 I have not wronged you, but you are doing me wrong by waging war against me.

  • WralCensorsAreBias Aug 14, 2014

    We will keep waiting to see and hear the media and its supporters take a deep breath and be ready to admit the next battle in this issue scares them to death.

    The "T" factor is coming up to bat next and you will have to give them the same platform and support as you have this.

    Like it or not.

  • tas0417 Aug 13, 2014

    Unfortunate that God keeps getting pushed aside. Marriage is simple - one man, one woman. So much lack of respect for Christianity.

  • Mark Hubbard Aug 13, 2014

    View quoted thread

    Exactly nobody is being denied anything in this case...

  • Doug Pawlak Aug 13, 2014

    View quoted thread

    Then we should also eliminate the "hate" I feel when I have to register my car and obey the speed limits. And I sure do feel prejudice when I have to take my shoes off at the airport.

  • Doug Pawlak Aug 13, 2014

    View quoted thread

    Now he's trying to distance himself from his statements he made during the republican primary and pretend he's more moderate. Don't let him fool you.

  • Jack Jones Aug 13, 2014

    Thom Tillis actively supported "Amendment One" even after he publicly predicted it would be overturned within a generation. Rather than planning for the future of NC, he used unconstitutional legislation for political gain. Thom Tillis is a politician, but he's NOT a leader.