Virginia’s Fourth Circuit Appellate Court rules same-sex marriage ban unconstitutional

The Fourth Circuit Appellate Court in Richmond, Virginia has found the state’s same-sex marriage ban to be unconstitutional as of this past Monday.

Four same-sex couples filed a lawsuit in Virginia to appeal the state’s same-sex marriage ban, one couple from each of the cities of Winchester, Staunton, Chesterfield, and Norfolk, Virginia.

In a three-judge panel, the deciding vote went 2-1 in favor of same-sex marriage, with the court ruling that what many deem to be an uncomfortable and unsettling idea is not enough to prohibit what is a fundamental, constitutional right for same-sex couples: “We recognize that same-sex marriage makes some people deeply uncomfortable. However, inertia and apprehension are not legitimate bases for denying same-sex couples due process and equal protection of the laws. Civil marriage is one of the cornerstones of our way of life. It allows individuals to celebrate and publicly declare their intentions to form lifelong partnerships, which provide unparalleled intimacy, companionship, emotional support, and security,” the three-party judicial panel ruled.

Virginia’s same-sex marriage ban, now overturned, brings the issue of same-sex marriage back to North Carolina. In a state that has been vigorously opposed to same-sex marriage, same-sex couples continue to battle to overturn what they deem to be nothing short of discrimination against an alternative sexual orientation. Approximately 18,000 couples in North Carolina are same-sex couples, but the same-sex marriage ban remains effective in the state. Virginia and North Carolina have had the same mindset on the issue since before the Marriage Amendment was passed in NC. If Virginia’s ban is overturned, how long will it be before North Carolina’s is?

No matter how staunch a fight, same-sex marriage is already being overturned. 19 states now permit same-sex marriage, and cases have been appealed in 13 additional states.