Good News: marriage justice advances
FORGIVE THE LATENESS OF THIS; THERE WERE SOME TECHNICAL PROBLEMS
Let's start with some good news, yes?
In 2-1 ruling, a panel of the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals has upheld a lower court decision which struck down Virginia's ban on same-sex marriages as unconstitutional. The court found that the state "has failed to advance a compelling state interest justifying its definition of marriage as between only a man and a woman."
Writing for the majority, Judge Henry Floyd said that personal opposition to same-sex marriage is not a legitimate legal basis for banning it. "Inertia and apprehension," he wrote, and I love that line, "Inertia and apprehension are not legitimate bases for denying same-sex couples due process and equal protection of the laws. The choice of whether and whom to marry is an intensely personal decision that alters the course of an individual's life. Denying same-sex couples this choice prohibits them from participating fully in our society."
The jurisdiction of the 4th Circuit Court includes three other states besides Virginia with similar bans: North Carolina, South Carolina, and West Virginia.
In reaction to that decision, in one of those states, North Carolina, the state attorney general declared he would no longer defend his state's ban in court, arguing that with the 4th Circuit decision, an appeal of North Carolina's law, which is essentially the same as Virginia's, would "almost certainly" fail.
To add to the good news, on August 13 the court refused to stay the effect of the order pending a possible appeal to the Supreme Court. Same-sex marriages could begin in Virginia as soon as this week.
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