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By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

2/14/2014 (1 year ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Ruling is pending appeal by opponents of gay marriage

Virginia became the first state in the southern U.S. to overturn a ban on same-sex marriage. However - homosexual and lesbian couples will still not be able to marry as the ruling is pending appeal by opponents of gay marriage.  

Beginning in Massachusetts in 2004, 17 states and the District of Columbia now allow gay marriage, most of them clustered in the Northeast.

Beginning in Massachusetts in 2004, 17 states and the District of Columbia now allow gay marriage, most of them clustered in the Northeast.

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

2/14/2014 (1 year ago)

Published in Politics & Policy

Keywords: Virginia, same sex marriage, overturn, marriage proponents


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - U.S. federal Judge Arenda Wright Allen ruled that a ban was unconstitutional. "The court is compelled to conclude that Virginia's Marriage Laws unconstitutionally deny Virginia's gay and lesbian citizens the fundamental freedom to choose to marry," Justice Wright Allen wrote in her ruling.

"Government interests in perpetuating traditions, shielding state matters from federal interference, and favoring one model of parenting over others must yield to this country's cherished protections that ensure the exercise of the private choices of the individual citizen regarding love and family," she added.

Keep it warm in this stylish new sweatshirt --

Same-sex marriage opponents have vowed to appeal the decision in the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit in Richmond.

In the meantime, a judge in Kentucky ruled this week that the state must recognize same-sex marriages performed in other states - but did not rule on the constitutionality of same-sex marriages inside the state.

Decisions similar to that of the Virginia judge have been issued in Utah and Oklahoma federal courts.

"The legal process will continue to play out in the months to come, but this decision shows that Virginia, like America, is coming to a better place in recognizing that every Virginian deserves to be treated equally and fairly," Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring, a Democrat, said in a statement.

Opponents of same-sex marriage in Virginia issued statements decrying Wright Allen's ruling.

"It appears that we have yet another example of an arrogant judge substituting her personal preferences for the judgment of the General Assembly and 57 per cent of Virginia voters," Tony Perkins, president of the conservative Family Research Council says. "Our nation's judicial system has been infected by activist judges, who threaten the stability of our nation and the rule of law."

Also in dissension, Brian Brown, President of the National Organization for Marriage declared the ruling "another example of an Obama-appointed judge twisting the constitution and the rule of law to impose her own views of marriage in defiance of the people of Virginia.

"There is no right to same-sex 'marriage' in the United States constitution," Brown said.

"In fact, the U.S. Supreme Court has said that states have the pre-eminent duty of defining marriage. The people of Virginia did just that in voting overwhelmingly to affirm marriage as the union of one man and woman. That decision should be respected by federal judges and we hope that the U.S. Supreme Court ends up reversing this terrible decision."

Beginning in Massachusetts in 2004, 17 states and the District of Columbia now allow gay marriage, most of them clustered in the Northeast.

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