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US: Same-sex weddings can begin in Virginia after Supreme Court decision

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Same-sex marriages will begin in Virginia today, after the Supreme Court declined to rule on a previous ruling striking down the state’s same-sex marriage ban.

Earlier today, the US Supreme Court today rejected seven pending appeals in lawsuits to allow gays to marry across the US – which could allow same-sex weddings to begin in as many as 11 states.

Though some will do so in the coming weeks, Virginia’s Attorney General Mark Herring has confirmed that in his state, marriages will be able to begin at 1pm today.

He wrote: “The Fourth Circuit is expected to issue its mandate at 1 pm, meaning marriage licenses for same-sex couples can be issued at that time and the Commonwealth will recognize all marriages that were lawfully performed in other states.

“Local clerks are receiving guidance and forms necessary to begin performing marriages today, and the Attorney General’s Office is working with the Governor’s Office and state agencies to implement any needed changes in light of this action.”

Same-sex marriages had been set to begin in Virginia in August after a court struck down the state’s marriage ban, but the ruling was put on hold just days beforehand when the Supreme Court put a stay on the ruling.

As the Supreme Court refused to hear an appeal today, the stay is no longer enforceable and the state must comply and introduce equal marriage.

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