Virginia courts can begin issuing same-sex marriage licenses at 1 p.m.

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - Virginia same-sex couples will be able to web beginning at 1 p.m. Monday, according to Attorney General Mark Herring.

The 4th Circuit Court of Appeals says their mandate will issue at that time, allowing courts across the commonwealth to begin issuing marriage licenses, according to Herring.

The Attorney General said he is in contact with the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals, clerks, the governor's office and state agencies on how best to begin the process.

The State is moving quickly so it could begin issuing licenses just hours after a surprise Supreme Court action allowed a previous ruling overturning the commonwealth's same-sex marriage ban to stand.

The Supreme Court refused Monday morning to hear an appeal of a ruling striking down same-sex marriage in the Commonwealth, along with similar appeals from Indiana, Utah, Oklahoma and Wisconsin.

The ruling clears the way for an immediate expansion of gay and lesbian unions, ending any delays. The ruling brings the number of states where same-sex marriage is legal to 30 and the District of Columbia.

However, the justices did not resolve the question of same-sex marriage nationwide.

The justices did not comment on their surprise decision.

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The Supreme Court had issued a stay, placing on hold the issuing of same-sex marriage licenses in Virginia. It came at the request of a Prince William County Clerk.

Attorney General Mark Herring also filed a request in the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals for the Court to stay its mandate pending the Supreme Court's decision whether to hear the case.

The three-judge panel split 2-1 last to uphold a prior district court's decision the state's ban is unconstitutional.

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