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Same sex marriage frozen by high court

SoVaNow.com / August 21, 2014
Gay and lesbian couples who want to be married in Virginia or to have their legal marriages from another state recognized will have to continue to wait in legal limbo.

The U.S. Supreme Court granted a stay Wednesday to halt implementation of a U.S. Court of Appeals 4th Circuit ruling that overturns Virginia’s ban on same-sex marriages. The intervention by the high court came one day before the ban was to be lifted in the Commonwealth.

It marks the second time the Supreme Court has stepped in to review lower court rulings in favor of same-sex marriage. The first stay granted by the Supreme Court came in reaction to a federal ruling in Utah that struck down the state’s ban on same-sex marriage.

Virginia’s same-sex marriage prohibition will remain in place until the Supreme Court decides to hear the case. The court is widely expected to rule on the issue sometime next year.

For Virginia court clerks who process marriage licenses and also perform weddings, the decision provides the direction clerks need. “Our office is going to follow the law, period,” said Cathy Cosby, Halifax County Circuit Court Clerk.

Cosby explained that, in anticipation of the ban being lifted, the local clerk’s office has received inq Gay and lesbian couples who want to be married in Virginia or to have their legal marriages from another state recognized will have to continue to wait in legal limbo.

The U.S. Supreme Court granted a stay Wednesday to halt implementation of a U.S. Court of Appeals 4th Circuit ruling that overturns Virginia’s ban on same-sex marriages. The intervention by the high court came one day before the ban was to be lifted in the Commonwealth.

It marks the second time the Supreme Court has stepped in to review lower court rulings in favor of same-sex marriage. The first stay granted by the Supreme Court came in reaction to a federal ruling in Utah that struck down the state’s ban on same-sex marriage.

Virginia’s same-sex marriage prohibition will remain in place until the Supreme Court decides to hear the case. The court is widely expected to rule on the issue sometime next year.

For Virginia court clerks who process marriage licenses and also perform weddings, the decision provides the direction clerks need. “Our office is going to follow the law, period,” said Cathy Cosby, Halifax County Circuit Court Clerk.

Cosby explained that, in anticipation of the ban being lifted, the local clerk’s office has received inquiries about gay and lesbian marriage licenses, but no appointments were made.

She added that preparations were already in the works that would make a few changes to the marriage license form such as changing “bride” and “groom” to “spouse” and adding the question regarding the sex of the spouse.

“As of right now, everything is the same. Still a bride and a groom, but we were trying to get prepared,” said Cosby.

“It was already in the works to install a new program, because they were changing the forms, but all of that has been stopped as of right now.”

Cosby stated that the last email she received at 4 p.m. from the U.S. Supreme Court stated, “The 4th circuit’s mandate will not issue tomorrow morning, and Virginia same-sex marriage ban will remain in effect pending further review of the case by the Supreme Court.

In the meantime, Virginia marriage licenses cannot be issued to same-sex couples and Virginia cannot recognize the marriages of same-sex couple’s married in other states.”

Governor Terry McAuliffe, who banned discrimination in the state workplace based on sexual orientation and gender identity, issued a statement Wednesday calling the Supreme Court ruling “a temporary delay to the inevitable conclusion that Virginians who love each other should have the opportunity to marry regardless of their sexual orientation.”

Gov. McAuliffe added, “In the meantime, my administration will make the necessary preparations so that we are ready to implement this decision if the [4th Circuit] ruling is upheld.”

Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring stated that, “Virginia’s case is waiting for the Supreme Court’s review, as are several others from around the country, and I have petitioned for an extraordinarily speedy review from the court.”

Herring added that he “reluctantly agreed that a stay was warranted in light of the way the Supreme Court handled a nearly identical case in Utah, and because of the potential that an adverse Supreme Court ruling might cause children adopted by a second parent to have that adoption heartbreakingly invalidated, death benefits conferred to grieving spouses taken away, and spousal benefits families thought would pay the bills thrown into limbo.”

Currently 19 states, including Washington, D.C. allow same-sex marriages. Thirty-one states currently uphold a ban on gay and lesbian marriages, and three states recognize domestic partnerships or civil unions.

Virginia’s ban on same-sex marriage was put in the state constitution with passage of a 2006 voter referendum. The lawsuit challenging the ban was brought by a gay Norfolk couple who sought to get married after the Supreme Court struck down the federal Defense of Marriage Act.

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Comments

Thank God, prayers are answered! I can't believe that Dems in Halifax county voted for these people Maculiffe and Herring knowing that they support homosexuals and their unnatural way of living? We want to allow them to marry and have kids? Kids are messed up now. We allow them to go to school with pink an blue hair etc and we think this will help? I cannot believe what my country has become. And for all you people that support this, you don't have a clue what you are doing and how this is tearing our nation apart.

Comments

"Kids are messed up now". How intelligent is your thought process. You are right, I have no doubt your children and grandchildren are the ones that are truly inept to make the right decision. Such a shame they pay the price for your ignorance. And its a shame that it takes people such as yourself to die off before positive progress can take place in America, you have no more influence here.

How so many can be intolerant of others and their unwavering sense of self importance will never cease to exist, but they are seen for what they are.

Comments

Quit with this intollerance crap. You apparently don't understand the meaning of the word. Intollerance would be punishment by imprisonment or worse. The majority of Virgina voters do not want their government recognizing, rewarding, or sanctioning sin as evidenced by the passage of the amendment to the state constitution. If you cannot read a Holy Bible and figure out God's position on the subject you are either illiterate or don't believe the Bible.

Comments

I'm fairly certain Jesus would side with someone who has compassion and acceptance of others as opposed to someone with hatred and bigotry in their heart. In your condescending haste to show how all empowered you are by your assumption of the Bible, maybe you missed that part? And if you want to pick and choose what parts of the Bible to take literal to your liking, why not love instead of hate? Wisdom sure doesn't seem like a strong point for you, and I'm willing to bet that's been pointed out to you more than once. But at the end of the day we are who we are, even in our misguidedness to unwaveringly bet on hatred shining through in the end.

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I'm 100% certain you're wrong about Jesus and people who voted for that amendment. Hate has nothing to do with it. That's your condescending presumptiveness. It is within the realm of posibility for someone to recognize a behavior as sin, not want the government condoning it, and still not hate the sinner. I'm also 100% sure you've never read the Bible because biblical knowledge is definitely not a strong point for you.

Comments

The Bible says condemn all others that don't follow your specific opinions? That's original. Just remember you are the reason you can't make sense of anything beyond yourself, not because of some book. Weakness takes the shape of many forms, and the ego it takes to palliate that fear is the true fallacy.

Comments

"The Bible says condemn all others that don't follow your specific opinions?" I don't condemn anyone. God will take care of that. Try reading it once and you may find the answer to your question. Your lack of knowledge of "some book" is why you can't make sense of anything. Just don't expect people who have read it and have faith to condone or want to promote sin or have a government that does the same.

Comments

Lucifer can quote Scripture with the best of them, and hearing some of these fundamentalists quote-quote-quote Scripture out of context to justify their positions proves that.

I am Christian but thank the Trinity I'm not a Pharisee. Of course, as a member of an episcopal-structured denomination, in the fundamentalist worldview I'm condemned to hell, do not pass go, do not collect $200.

Gay marriage is not going to affect your life one way or the other. The sun will still rise and set and life will go on. I cannot understand why fundamentalists see it as such a threat- it's simple, if you don't agree with it you don't have to participate or associate with them. Though I have known women who had irrational fears of gay men seducing and stealing their husbands. Hmm- what you ain't getting at home... if there's no more trust than that, the marriage is in trouble to begin with.


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