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Virginia appeals ruling against same-sex marriage ban

The Commonwealth of Virginia on Monday filed a notice of appeal [text, PDF] of a recent ruling overturning the state's constitutional amendment against same-sex marriage, to the US Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit [official website]. The amendment was struck down [JURIST report] as unconstitutional in the US District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia [official website] by federal judge Arenda Wright, but the ruling was stayed until after the government's appeal could be heard. Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring [official website] has stated his opposition to the ban, but claims the appeal will "ensure that higher courts can swiftly rule on the critical issues in this case."

Same-sex marriage [JURIST backgrounder] has been a highly polarizing issue in the American legal community. Numerous challenges to same-sex marriage bans have arisen in federal and state courts in recent months. Last week a federal judge for the US District Court for the Northern District of Illinois [official website] ruled [JURIST report] that same-sex couples in Cook County could be issued marriage licenses immediately, instead of having to wait until June. Earlier that week Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum [official website] announced [JURIST report] that her office would no longer be defending that state's ban on same-sex marriage. A judge for the US District Court for the Western District of Kentucky [official website] ruled [JURIST report] earlier this month that the Kentucky must recognize valid out-of-state same-sex marriages.

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Paper Chase is JURIST's real-time legal news service, powered by a team of 30 law student reporters and editors led by law professor Bernard Hibbitts at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. As an educational service, Paper Chase is dedicated to presenting important legal news and materials rapidly, objectively and intelligibly in an accessible format.

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