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Judge: Virginia same-sex marriage ban unconstitutional

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Posted: Friday, February 14, 2014 9:46 am

NORFOLK, Va. — In a first for the South, Virginia's same-sex marriage ban has been overturned, with a federal judge ruling that the voter-approved amendment is unconstitutional and declaring the move "another moment history when We the People becomes more inclusive."

U.S. District Judge Arenda Wright Allen on Thursday issued a stay of her order while it is appealed, meaning that gay couples in Virginia still won't be able to marry until the case is ultimately resolved. Lawyers for the clerks in Norfolk and Prince William County who defended the ban are expected to file the appeal, which will be heard by the 4th Circuit Court in Richmond. It could uphold the ban or side with Wright Allen. If the 4th Circuit sides with overturning the ban, it too could issue a stay while the case is appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court. Both sides believe the case won't be settled until then — or until the high court rules on a similar case.

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