Same-sex marriage is on hold in Virginia now after the Supreme Court stayed a decision from a U.S. Court of Appeals panel. Officials in the state had planned to begin allowing it to begin on Thursday after a lower court ruled in favor of it.
Virginia’s same-sex marriage ban
On July 28, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit ruled that the state’s ban on same-sex marriage is unconstitutional. Last week, the same panel refused to push back its ruling.
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However, today The Washington Post reports that the Supreme Court has entered the fray after Virginia’s attorney general, Mark Herring, requested a stay. He thinks the is unconstitutional, siding with those who challenged it. He did say though that it would be disruptive to begin same-sex marriages before the Supreme Court decided whether state bans on them are in violation of the U.S. Constitution.
Virginia as a test case
People on both sides of the issue are requesting that the Supreme Court use the state of Virginia as a test to make a decision on it. However, the court’s order did not indicate whether that will happen.
Appeals courts have already struck down state bans in Oklahoma and Utah. Both of those states have also asked the Supreme Court for a review. Other appeals courts are also hearing cases from several additional states as well.
Same-sex marriage still a hot button issue
It’s really no surprise that the Supreme Court issued a stay on same-sex marriage in Virginia. The court already did something similar in the case involving Utah. Judges there found that the state’s ban on same-sex marriage was unconstitutional and would not issue a stay.
After that, the Supreme Court put a hold on another judge’s order that the state recognize about a thousand unions that were done during the time between the court’s decision and the justices’ decision to halt them. According to the Washington Post, this means the Supreme Court is looking for more rulings from more lower courts before it gives what some might see as implied approval of a long string of decisions from federal courts that strike down same-sex marriage bans.