HUNTINGTON, W.Va. – U.S. District Judge Chuck Chambers put a hold on a case Tuesday challenging West Virginia’s ban on same-sex marriage.
Chambers’ brief order said he’ll wait until a federal appeals court makes a decision on a similar case challenging Virginia’s ban.
The case was argued May 13 and a decision from the 4th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals is expected sometime this summer.
Lambda Legal filed the case in West Virginia last October after three same-sex couples were denied marriage licenses in Kanawha and Cabell counties.
The plaintiffs sought a ruling from Judge Chambers earlier this year.
Since we filed our lawsuit in October, same-sex couples in four more states have secured the ability to marry,” said Beth Littrell, a Senior Attorney in Lambda Legal’s Southern Regional Office said at the time. “We do not want a country divided by unfairness and discrimination. Same-sex couples are in loving, committed relationships in every state and should be treated the same way. When same-sex couples in West Virginia are denied the freedom to marry, the government sends a message that they are second class citizens and their families are not worthy of equal dignity and respect.”
The plaintiffs include: Nancy Michael, 45, and Jane Fenton, 43, together for 16 years, and their six-year-old son, Drew; Casie McGee, 30, and Sarah Adkins 32, together for more than three years; and Justin Murdock, 32, and William Glavaris, 31, together for more than two years.
West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey has intervened in the case on behalf of the state.