Virginia Gay Marriage Fight One Step Closer to the Supreme Court

The fight over gay marriage in Virginia is one step closer to being heard by the Supreme Court.

Virginia's Attorney General Mark Herring is expected to file a petition Friday, asking the justices to review a ruling made by the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

The three-judge panel ruled last week that state constitutional and statutory provisions barring gay marriage and denying recognition of such unions performed in other states violate the U.S. Constitution. The Virginia gay marriage case is one of several that could go to the U.S. Supreme Court.

A county court clerk in northern Virginia sought to delay the court's ruling, asking the federal court to issue a stay while she appealed to the Supreme Court.

Without a stay, marriage licenses could be issued to Virginia's same-sex couples in just over a week.

While he opposes the gay marriage ban, Herring also wants a stay issued until the Supreme Court weighs in. He doesn't want same-sex couples to have "undo" their marriages should the higher court ultimately uphold the ban.

But the plaintiffs in the Virginia case, along with the ACLU, disagree.

They want same sex marriages legalized as soon as August 18 - with or without the Supreme Court's opinion.

Justices are expected to decide whether to hear the case in September.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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