Monday, July 28, 2014

Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals Affirms Support for Equality

by Brig Bagley

28 July 2014

As the second district court to uphold decisions to strike down state SSM bans, the 4th District Court of Appeals ruled that Virginia's ban was indeed unconstitutional. It also agreed that marriage is a fundamental right to consenting adult couples, irrespective of gender. 

The ruling is a 2-1 decision, similar to the decisions in the Utah and Oklahoma cases in the 10th District rulings. The dissenting judge claimed that same-sex marriage is a new relationship proposed as a right, as opposed the already existing right to marry, which only includes a man-woman relationship and is not denied to any.

The ruling is on hold for 21 days from today, awaiting a rehearing or a stay. Virginia Attorney General also believes the ban is unconstitutional, and did not defend it. Two clerks for the state are representing the case in favor of the existing bans.

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