Federal judge reviewing Virginia's ban on gay marriage - WSLS 10 NBC in Roanoke/Lynchburg Va

Federal judge reviewing Virginia's ban on gay marriage

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U.S. District Judge Arenda L. Wright Allen promised she will rule quickly about whether Virginia’s ban on gay marriage should be struck down.

After the hearing today, the federal judge said:

“You’ll be hearing from me soon.”

The plaintiffs are Timothy Bostic and Tony London.  They filed the lawsuit after they were denied a marriage license by the circuit court in Norfolk, Va. in July.  In their case, Bostic and London argue that the state withheld liberties which are guaranteed by the 14th Amendment.

The couple is represented by Theodore B. Olson and David Boies, attorneys from the American Foundation for Equal Rights.  These are the same attorneys who overturned California’s Proposition 8 and the state’s ban on gay marriage.

Last month, Virginia Attorney Mark Herring announced his support of this case and said he would fight the state on the issue of gay marriage.

Herring released this statement after the hearings today:

“Whether it was the right to a public education regardless of race, the right to marry the person you love regardless of skin color, or the right to attend state colleges and universities regardless of gender, Virginia has too often found itself on the wrong side of landmark civil rights cases. The injustice of Virginia's position in those cases will not be repeated this time.”

The case is expected to move quickly, especially because both sides requested a ruling without a full trial.  If the judge finds this ban to be unconstitutional, Virginia will be the first state in the old Confederacy to legalize same-sex marriage.

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