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Virginia official asks Supreme Court justice to block same-sex marriage

[JURIST] Prince William County clerk of court Michele McQuigg in Virginia filed an emergency stay application at the US Supreme Court [official website] seeking to block the US Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit [official website] ruling declining to stay [JURIST report] its decision declaring Virginia's voter-approved same-sex marriage ban to be unconstitutional. Citizens of Virginia voted to amend [WP report] the Virginia Constitution [text] in 2006 to define marriage as solely between one man and one woman, banning the performance or recognition of same-sex marriages, but the ban was struck down by the courts. McQuigg is asking Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts to block same-sex marriages pending an appeal. Roberts has asked for a reply brief by Monday.

Since the Supreme Court struck down [JURIST report] section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act [text] last year, many federal courts have declared state same-sex marriage bans unconstitutional. Earlier this week a Tennessee county court was the first court in the country to uphold a state's same-sex marriage ban [JURIST report] since Section 3 was declared unconstitutional. Earlier this month the US Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit [official website] heard oral arguments [JURIST report] in six lawsuits challenging same-sex marriage bans in four states. In July the US District Court for the District of Colorado [official website] struck down [JURIST report] Colorado's ban on same-sex marriage as unconstitutional, but he immediately stayed his ruling pending an appeal to a higher court.

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