US: Ruling could mean Virginia gay couples allowed to marry next week

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A ruling by the US Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit today could mean that gay and lesbian couples in the US state of Virginia could marry as soon as next week.

The court refused to delay implementation of a ruling in which it struck down the state’s ban on same-sex marriage.

The 4th Circuit Court of Appeals court struck down Virginia’s same-sex marriage ban earlier this month in a ruling that impacted Virginia, Maryland, West Virginia, North Carolina and South Carolina.

Circuit Court Clerk Michele McQuigg of Prince William County had asked the court to stay its ruling, to give her time to appeal to the US Supreme Court. The stay was opposed by the ACLU of Virginia, ACLU and Lambda Legal, on behalf of 14,000 same-sex couples.

Without a Supreme Court intervention, gay and lesbian couples could marry as soon as 18 August, reports WRIC.

Supporters of same-sex marriage in the state said they were hopeful that the court would not stay its ruling.

The Attorney General of the US state of Virginia last week asked the US Supreme Court to review lower court rulings striking down same-sex marriage bans