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US: Federal judge overturns Virginia same-sex marriage ban

  • That There Other David

    Considering the vehemently religious reasons given why the representatives who engineered the ban wanted it, and their extremely anti-gay rhetoric at the time (I believe Bob Marshall wanted all gays and lesbians to “burn in hell”) how could this ruling have gone any other way? Animus was proven right there. All it needed was the timing to bring the case against it. Last year’s SCOTUS decision provided the opportunity.

    Bam!! It’s gone. I hope they antis appeal it too, since Virginia falls under the 4th District court which is stuffed with Obama appointees. Most likely they would rule in a way that could mean similar bans in other 4th circuit states could easily be overturned.

    • The Windsor decision fundamentally changed the landscape on the same-sex marriage issue, since it placed the Equal Protection clause of the 14th amendment front and center. There’s no way for the states to get around that, because the federal Constitution trumps any state measure.

  • Dermot Mac Flannchaidh

    Virginia is not the first southern state to lose its same-sex marriage ban. Delaware, D.C. and Maryland are traditionally part of the South, and they all already have equal marriage. Oklahoma (where another federal judge also recently struck down the ban) is also part of the South.

    • Kinda, sorta, true. A more accurate description would be the residents of the “Bible belt” ( They are the same ones that close their schools because they can’t drive in 1 inch of snow.

    • Maryland Kid

      1) The article says that Virginia was the first to overturn a voter approved ban on same-sex marriage. The key phrase here being, “voter approved.”

      2) As far as I know, Delaware has never been considered part of the South, seeing as it is north of the Mason-Dixon line. Also, I’ve found that the most common definition for what “traditionally” constitutes the South is the group of States that succeeded to form the so-called “Confederacy”, of which neither Maryland, Delaware or DC was a member.

      3) You’re kind of treading on thin ice with this comment. I was born and raised in Maryland (in case my username didn’t give it away). Though we are proud of our heritage and the unique culture that has arisen from being on the border of North and South, we consider ourselves to be part of neither. In face, people here actually hold a lot of simmering animosity towards the South. There are parts of this State that still haven’t gotten over the Civil War!

      • jojo

        “Ye olden definition for ‘South’ would be South of the Mason-Dixon lineand slave-holding state or commonwealth. Nowadays, I think Maryland, VA, PA, DE are considered “Middle Atlantic”…

        • Shaiyon

          Basically, yeah. I don’t think anybody seriously considers these states to be Southern. Anyway, I guess the important point is that congratulations are in order for Virginia and her lgbt couples!

  • Rumbelow

    The State of Virgina’s seal or logo is already pretty apt but it should read
    “Sic semper tyrannis religio”

    (Thus always to religious tyrants)

    • Steve_R

      I certainly won’t go in to the “latin” aspect of the state seal, but the perception is one conveying “Home of the Oppressor or Oppressed”!

  • AdrianT

    Momentum is also gaining for legal clauses that allow discrimination against LGBT couples on religious grounds. That, I think, is where the battle is going, and the argument about equality and equal dignity of everyone under the law must be articulated.

    • There are bills pending in several state legislatures, none of which will stand up in court — they are quite obviously motivated by animus and their effect is to nullify the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment, which ain’t gonna happen.

  • Steve_R

    The plus is it was overturned, the negative is the US: Federal judge has not immediately made the ban effective, leaving room for appeal.

    This is the second time in recent ruling where a judge has done this. Whilst the judge is a realist by “knowing” it will be appealed, he is also playing into peoples hands by upholding the ban until his decision can be appealed. What does this achieve? does it give him some vindication that some other judge can now possibly rule against him keep the ban and he will be exonerated for his controversial ruling.

    Yesterday we heard another Judge make the comment he knows how ever he rules it will be challenged. It almost read as what’s the point of making a ruling… Your damned if you do an damned if you don’t! Where’s the vision, leadership and inspiration to make a stand and uphold peoples rights? where is the commitment to making all people equal under the constitution.

    If you make judgement “CHANGE” to the betterment of society stand by it!
    don’t preempt change by placing further barriers to challenge against it.

    • Steve_R

      Should read “ineffective” not effective!

    • That’s actually the usual practice, to stay a decision pending appeal, not only in marriage cases but across the board. There is always the possibility that a decision will be overturned by a higher court, creating a real mess if the decision is in effect in the meantime. Attorneys normally file a motion to stay a judgment along with their briefs. Appeals are not dependent on whether or not a stay is granted.

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