Appeals Court in Va. Hears Gay Marriage Case

Tuesday, May 13, 2014  |  Updated 7:28 PM EDT
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Northern Virginia Bureau Chief Julie Carey reports from Richmond on the same-sex marriage ban case before the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals.

Julie Carey

Northern Virginia Bureau Chief Julie Carey reports from Richmond on the same-sex marriage ban case before the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals.

A potentially landmark case on gay marriage is now in the hands of a federal appeals court in Virginia.

A three-judge panel of the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals heard arguments Tuesday on a judge's ruling that Virginia's ban on same-sex marriage is unconstitutional. The case is one of a handful that could ultimately make it to the U.S. Supreme Court.

One of the appeals court judges vigorously challenged attorneys for gay-rights couples who argued that the ban violates equal protection and due process guarantees. Another judge was equally aggressive in questioning claims that families are stronger with both a mother and a father.

Hundreds of demonstrators on both sides gathered outside the courthouse. A decision is expected in several weeks or months.

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