What’s next for Virginia after landmark same-sex marriage ruling - NBC12 - WWBT - Richmond, VA News On Your Side

What’s next for Virginia after landmark same-sex marriage ruling?

Attorney General Mark Herring celebrates same-sex marriage ruling in Carytown Attorney General Mark Herring celebrates same-sex marriage ruling in Carytown
RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) -

A Richmond federal appeals court panel upheld the landmark decision to strike down Virginia's ban on same-sex marriage Monday, paving the way for the case to be sent to the United States Supreme Court.

The latest ruling is set to go into effect Aug. 18, unless defense lawyers appeal the decision. Opposing council will likely appeal Monday's ruling, a move that would prevent same-sex marriages in Virginia until a higher court decides the case.

The defense is now left to choose whether to appeal the 2-1 decision to the full panel of the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, or send the case to the U.S. Supreme Court.

"There's a good chance they will appeal this to the Supreme Court," said NBC12 Legal Analyst Steven D. Benjamin in an interview Monday. "But we don't know if Virginia's case will be the one the justices choose to hear."

Click below to read the full ruling:

http://ftpcontent4.worldnow.com/wwbt/PDF/20140728%20BosticOpinion.pdf

A similar ruling in June by the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals struck down gay marriage bans in Utah and Oklahoma. The decision has also been appealed to the High Court. The justices may decide to hear both cases, or simply decide on one.

The earliest either case could be heard is in a few months, when the new Supreme Court term begins in October.

Monday's decision also declares unconstitutional same-sex marriage bans in three other 4th Circuit states, including North Carolina, South Carolina and West Virginia.

Same-sex marriage supporters have won more than 20 legal decisions around the country since the U.S. Supreme Court struck down a key part of the federal Defense of Marriage Act in 2013. Same-sex marriage is currently legal in the District of Columbia and 19 states.

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