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A federal judge ruled late this evening that Virginia’s ban on same-sex marriages is unconstitutional.

The decision by US District Judge Arenda L. Wright Allen makes Virginia the second state in the South to have a ban on same-sex marriage overturned.

U.S. District Judge Arenda L. Wright Allen’s decision makes Virginia the second state in the South to have a ban on gay marriages overturned.  Her ruling comes the day after a judge in Kentucky ruled that the state must recognize same-sex marriages performed in other states.

In her decision, Judge Allen writes that “The Court finds Va. Const. Art. I, § 15-A, Va. Code §§ 20-45.2, 20-45.3, and any other Virginia law that bars same-sex marriage or prohibits Virginia’s recognition of lawful same-sex marriages from other jurisdictions unconstitutional. These laws deny Plaintiffs their rights to due process and equal protection guaranteed under the Fourteenth Amendment of the United States Constitution.”

Judge Allen has issued a stay on her decision pending appeal, therefore same-sex couples may not yet marry in Virginia.  Attorney General Mark Herring previously announced he would not uphold the state’s ban on gay marriage.

Interestingly, Virginia becomes the 9th of the original 13 colonies to allow marriage equality.

virginia marriage equality

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