Another Appeals Court Tosses Same-Sex-Marriage Ban

Plantiffs in the suit over Virginia's ban on gay marriage, Emily Schall-Townley (from left), Carol Schall and Mary Townley, after a hearing on May 13. Steve Helber/AP

Plantiffs in the suit over Virginia’s ban on gay marriage, Emily Schall-Townley (from left), Carol Schall and Mary Townley, after a hearing on May 13. Steve Helber/AP

For the second time this summer, a federal appellate court has voted to strike down a ban on same-sex marriage.

A panel of the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Monday upheld a district court judge’s decision that Virginia’s ban on same-sex marriage is unconstitutional.

“We do not dispute that states have refused to permit same-sex marriages for most of our country’s history. However, this fact is irrelevant in this case,” Judge Henry Floyd wrote in the 2-to-1 ruling. “We conclude that the fundamental right to marry encompasses the right to same-sex marriages.”

Floyd was appointed as a district court judge by President George W. Bush and elevated to the U.S. Court of Appeals by President Obama.

The decision would take effect in 21 days but will be stayed if there’s an appeal from defendants, which is considered all but certain.

“Today’s decision is significant because it also renders unconstitutional similar marriage bans in North Carolina, South Carolina and West Virginia — states that are part of the 4th Circuit,” reports the Richmond Times-Dispatch. “Same-sex marriage is already legal in Maryland, which is also in the circuit.”

Hours after the ruling, North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper said it would be futile to continue defending the state’s ban.

Cooper said the ruling “predicts our law will be struck down.”

Earlier this month, the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a ruling that threw out Oklahoma’s ban on same-sex marriage.

Monday’s ruling in the Virginia case was the 29th straight victory for same-sex-marriage advocates in federal and state courts since the Supreme Court struck down the federal Defense of Marriage Act last year, notes NPR legal affairs correspondent Nina Totenberg.

“Virginia holds a special place in the same-sex-marriage debate because gay-marriage advocates have based their legal appeals on the 1967 U.S. Supreme Court decision of Loving v. Virginia, which struck down Virginia’s ban on interracial marriage,” Nina points out.

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit
Read original article – Published July 28, 2014 3:41 PM ET
Another Appeals Court Tosses Same-Sex-Marriage Ban

Recent headlines

  • dollar bill money macro

    Per diems driving special session costs

    Lawmakers who represent areas outside Juneau receive $295 for each day of the special session. Juneau lawmakers receive $221.25 per day.
  • Caroline Hoover proudly pins an Alaska Territorial Guard medal on the front of her father's parka during an official discharge ceremony held Oct. 17 in Kipnuk, Alaska. David Martin is one of three surviving members of the Alaska Territorial Guard's Kipnuk unit. A total of 59 residents of Kipnuk, who volunteered to defend Alaska in the event of a Japanese invasion during World War II, were recognized during the ceremony. Kipnuk residents who served with the Alaska Territorial Guard from 1942-1947 were members of a U.S. Army component organized in response to attacks by the Japanese on Pearl Harbor. (Photo by Jerry Walton, Department of Military and Veterans Affairs cultural resource manager and native liaison/public domain/Wikimedia Commons)

    16 Alaska Territorial Guard vets to be honored in Anchorage

    Sixteen veterans of the Alaska Territorial Guard will be honored at a discharge ceremony today. Four of them are from Western Alaska.
  • Don Andrew Roguska looks out from an upstairs window of an historic Juneau house he bought in 2016 to restore. Zoning regulations have prevented him from rebuilding in the same style. (Photo by Jacob Resneck/KTOO)

    Juneau mulls relaxing zoning rules for historic houses

    The historic houses in Juneau and Douglas were predominately built by miners and fishermen long before today's zoning was put into place. That's prevented homeowners from restoring or rebuilding homes in these neighborhoods without running into conflict with the city's zoning laws -- a temporary fix may be on the way.
  • Young joins Afghanistan war skeptics in Congress

    Alaska U.S. Rep. Don Young wants to know why Americans are still fighting in Afghanistan. He has co-sponsored a bill that would end funding for the war in a year, unless the president and Congress affirm the need for it.