Federal judge rules Virginia’s same-sex marriage ban unconstitutional


A federal judge has ruled that Virginia’s same-sex marriage ban is unconstitutional. This makes Virginia the second state in the South to have a gay marriage ban overturned.

Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring tweeted the following tonight:

At 9:51 p.m.: “VA’s Marriage Laws unconstitutionally deny VA’s gay and lesbian citizens the fundamental freedom to choose to marry.”
At 9:52 p.m.: “Laws deny Plaintiffs their rights to due process & equal protection guaranteed under the 14th Amendment of US Constitution.”
At 9:52 p.m.: “Court stays execution of this injunction pending the final disposition of any appeal to the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals.”
At 10:22 p.m.: “We have arrived upon another moment in history when We the People becomes more inclusive, and our freedom more perfect.”

U.S. District Judge Arenda L. Wright Allen stayed her decision until an appeals court rules, so gay couples will not be able to marry in the state immediately.

This is another huge victory in the fight for marriage equality, as the rulings creep further and further into the South, possibly setting up some dramatic scenarios in the months to come.

View a PDF of the entire ruling here.

psaunders@thegavoice.com | @patricksaunders