WASHINGTON, D.C. — This week’s ruling from a federal appeals court that found Virginia’s ban on same-sex marriages unconstitutional could have a ripple effect in West Virginia. The exact impact of that ruling, though, was not immediately clear.

On Monday, the U.S. 4th Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond, Va. issued a 2-1 ruling that said, under the Constitution, gay men and lesbians do have a right to marry. “Inertia and apprehension are not legitimate bases for denying same sex couples due process and equal protection of the laws,” the Court wrote.

Supporters of Virginia’s ban on marriages between same sex couples now have 21 days to file an appeal with the full 4th Circuit or with the U.S. Supreme Court.

West Virginia is part of the 4th Circuit and legal challenges from three same-sex couples — two from Cabell County and one from Kanawha County — on West Virginia’s ban on same-sex marriages have been on hold. U.S. District Judge Robert Chambers, who is considering those challenges, issued a stay pending the ruling from the appeals court.

Kelly Kimble, board chair of Fairness West Virginia, called Monday a “historic day for all Mountaineers.” “The 4th Circuit Court’s ruling is truly about love, fairness and family values. This ruling is a victory for the countless families that have over and over again been denied equality under West Virginia state law,” Kimble said.

Fairness West Virginia is the statewide lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgenderal advocacy organization.

The Virginia case is one of several the U.S. Supreme Court could take up for consideration late this year or early next year.

Mark Herring, the Democratic Attorney General in Virginia, has said he thinks Virginia’s marriage restrictions are unconstitutional, so he has not been part of efforts to uphold the law. Instead, two circuit clerks are defending the issuance of marriage licenses only to heterosexual couples.

In addition to West Virginia and Virginia, the 4th Circuit includes North Carolina, South Carolina and Maryland. Same-sex marriages are already legal in Maryland.

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Comments

  • Big Joe

    This is awesome!! Maybe if gays can finally marry, I'll be able to marry my sister!!

    • Chuck Anziulewicz

      DEAR BIG JOE:

      If it will make you feel any better, there are about 20 states where you can legally marry your first cousin.

      And if you REALLY want to marry your sister, why wait until after Gay couples can marry? You should have filed a lawsuit and made your case long ago, since the scenario you describe has more to do with Straight marriage than it has to do with Gay marriage.

      • meltzen

        would that be like be saying gays had equal rights to be with anyone of the opposite sex like everyone else and no one was able to be with those of the same sex. so everyone was equal.

  • Steven Martin

    Love it lmao

  • Steven Martin

    God gave us the freedom of choice. But he will deal with them on judgement day

    • Chuck Anziulewicz

      The United States is not a Christian theocracy. It is not the job of government to uphold your personal interpretation of what "God" thinks, but rather to uphold the Constitution.

      If you are worried about "Judgment Day," feel free to conduct your own personal life as your religious beliefs dictate. Do NOT marry another man (even if he's someone you have fallen hopelessly in love with), and politely decline any invitations to Gay weddings that you should receive ... although sending the couple a tasteful gift would be awfully nice.

      • C'mon Chuck

        Really Chuck? You honestly think religion wasn't the foundation of why the constitution was written?!! Ha, liberal logic, I love it!!!

        • Amen

          Agreed!! Liberal logic lol

      • meltzen

        He is not saying the US is a Christian Theocracy. You say it is not up to Gov to interpret what God thinks but you want Gov to change what God set up as marriage which is between man and woman. If you want to be with someone of the same sex why is it you want to use Gods word to define what you think is right?

        I agree with your second paragraph i will be judged for my actions as you will be judged for yours. I believe you are old enough to know our actions do have consquences. But words do have meanings and we cannot just on a whim change definitions of words to fit what we think is right.

        If same sex couples want Gov sanctions then there are things that you can do that does not coincide with God as you say its not Gov place to interpret.

        A homosexual lifestyle will cheat you out of a full life for the life expectancy of a homosexual is 20 years shorter of that of a heterosexual. If you are a homosexual then you are aware of the complications and disease etc that comes with that lifestyle. That is why God intended man to be with woman it is a fulfillment of his promise that he has for each us. There are things that only a woman can give to a man and vice versa. Im not condemning anyones lifestyle or judging anyone....i have been in front of judges and they will sentence you....if i disagree with your choices its not that im judging you cause i could never sentence you to anything.

  • Mountain Navy

    Feds should state out of the states. To bad the south didn't win.

    • mike

      amen

    • Aaron

      Slavery was the primary cause for the Civil War not States Rights.

      • Silas Lynch

        US version:
        The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States; but all Duties, Imposts and Excises shall be uniform throughout the United States;

        CS version:
        The Congress shall have Power
        (1)To lay and collect taxes, duties, imposts, and excises for revenue, necessary to pay the debts, provide for the common defense, and carry on the Government of the Confederate States; but no bounties shall be granted from the Treasury; nor shall any duties or taxes on importations from foreign nations be laid to promote or foster any branch of industry; and all duties, imposts, and excises shall be uniform throughout the Confederate States.

        • Aaron

          Google the Conerstone Speech Silas, which was given by Confederate Vice President Alexander Stephens describing the differences between the two Constitutions and why the south seceded.

        • Aaron

          Confederate Vice Pres. Alexander Stevens describes differences between the two constitutions in what became known as the Cornerstone speech. He also stated why the South succeeded from the union.

          "Our new Government is founded upon exactly the opposite ideas; its foundations are laid, its cornerstone rests, upon the great truth that the negro is not equal to the white man; that slavery, subordination to the superior race, is his natural and normal condition."

          Google the Cornerstone speech and read it in its entirety. The Civil War was about slavery.

  • Neal

    Incest marriage will be legal within 10 years because of rulings like this. Disagree? Tell me how you can legally deny marriage to incest couples once we start down the marriage equality path. God help us.

    • Chuck Anziulewicz

      DEAR NEAL:

      The thing about these tiresome "slippery slope" arguments is that they almost invariably come to naught.

      As for "incest couples," they actually have more to do with Straight marriage than Gay marriage, since incestuous relationships are usually heterosexual.

      Same for the issue of polygamy, another "slippery slope" scenario that people resort to raising. They could just as easily say, "If you let a man marry ONE woman, you have to let him marry as many women as he wants!"

      The majority of Americans now favor marriage equality for their Gay friends, family member, and co-workers, and courts are almost ruling in our favor. WHY? Because there is simply no Constitutional justification for denying law-abiding, taxpaying Gay couples the same legal benefits and opportunities that Straight couples have always taken for granted.

      • CT

        Chuck,
        Your "slippery slope" comment would have merit were we talking about laws passed by elected representatives. However, in constitutional arguments, "slipppery slope" has merit because something is either a constituional principle or it is not. Justice Scalia predicted such logic would be used after the Lawerence v Texas decision. The term "consenting adults" can not be applied constitutionally to only those "consenting adults" one deems worthy. Lines are to be drawn by law, not in the Constution. If gay marriage laws are unconstitutional, so will be polygamy laws, incest laws, or any other law that interferes with the behavior of "consenting adults". It is not inconsistent to be against laws such as the Texas law as I and many others were, but believe the constitution is silent on such matters. Fight it in the legislatures were the founders meant for such things to be settled.

    • wvu999

      Can I marry a goat or horse?
      Yeah sounded just as stupid as your comment

      • Neal

        Yeah and 30 years ago "can I marry another dude?" sounded just as stupid and disgusting as "can I marry a goat?". You're asking for "marriage equality" so you're going to have to live with the consequences.

        Just because you (and I) think incest is disgusting doesn't change the fact that as soon as homosexual marriage becomes the law of the land, I GUARANTEE you that incest couples will start bringing lawsuits under the equal protection clause of the constitution, just as homosexual couples are doing now. Get ready for it.

        • Chuck Anziulewicz

          DEAR NEAL:

          If "incest couples" start bringing lawsuits under the 14th Amendment, those cases will have to be considered on their own merits, but they will have no more to do with Gay marriage than they will with Straight marriage. Otherwise those "incest couples" would have been bringing lawsuits decades ago.

          • Neal

            The "merits" of incest marriage are the same as homosexual marriage. Society previously thought of them both as deviant and not worthy of marriage (e.g. one of President Clinton's signature laws was the Defense of Marriage Act), but now in the name of political correctness we are rolling back one of the foundations of society. Once homosexual marriage becomes law there are no legal grounds to deny incest couples the right to marry, or groups of polygamous people.

          • mario

            Then why didn't gay couples bring lawsuits decades ago?

  • MOCO man

    Just an absolute shame........just terrible.........marriage is between a man and a woman and nothing else is acceptable......

  • Matthew 22:39

    I had to get out my Constitution again. Funny, it didn't have one word about love or marriage, or Hell either.

    • mike

      dumbass .....this country was founded on religion ....is there a religion out there that supports gays????

      • Chuck Anziulewicz

        DEAR MIKE:

        In fact, there are growing numbers of churches and denominations that are supportive of Gay people.

        People TEND to feel most comfortable with the faith they were raised in as a child, and that includes LGBT people. This is why there are increasing numbers of Gay-friendly churches in all denominations. If any Gay individual or couple no longer feel welcome in the church they grew up in, chances are there are churches nearby that are more welcoming. A good resources is here:
        http://www.gaychurch.org/

        There are 26 such churches in West Virginia alone.

        • Neal

          Apparently people in those churches don't know how to read the bible.

          • Git em Neal!

            Hey I'm with you brother!! The need to read the Bible!!

      • Aaron

        How so?

  • Debra

    Good, now let's move on to other issues. This issue is almost past us legally anyway. Conservatives will still continue to try to skirt around the issue with stupid tax breaks for traditional marriage and and incentives for traditional families. But that will all be struck down too. And as years go buy, it will be accepted as normal. I think the first same sex marriage in WV will be within the next year.

    • meltzen

      do you even know why there were tax breaks for marriages in the first place?

  • Gary Karstens

    YES! YES! YES! YES!

    The court got it right. Now it is time for the state of WV to get with the progressive times for the love of YEESH!

    I Love It! I LOVE IT!

    • meltzen

      so you celebrate that Gov punched the people in the face and changed what the people voted for? You celebrate the loss of life. do you know what the life expectancy of a homosexual lifestyle compared to a heterosexual lifestyle. Do you celebrate those who may contract more diseases? im just curious

  • Aaron

    "The 4th Circuit Court’s ruling is truly about love, fairness and family values."

    Horsehockey. The ruling is about the law. Marriage is seen as a CONTRACT in the eyes of the government. As such, discrimination based on gender or the denial due process of the law is unconstitutional. That is all this decision is all about. It is not a vindication of same-sex marriages.

    Republicans messed up when they did not institute civil liberties guaranteeing same-sex couples the exact same rights as a married couple, hence the recent decisions by federal judges. It is as simple as that.

    • Silas Lynch

      "Republicans messed up when they did not institute civil liberties guaranteeing same-sex couples the exact same rights as a married couple, hence the recent decisions by federal judges. It is as simple as that."

      Aaron: Are you speaking of "Civil Unions" ?--

      In 2007 55 percent favor allowing homosexual couples to form legally recognized civil unions, giving them the same rights as married couples in areas such as health insurance, inheritance and pension coverage. That's up from 45 percent in an ABC/Post poll in 2006; the previous high was 51 percent in 2004.

      If I remember, it was the LGBT communities that were the most vocal in rejecting "Civil Unions" with the analogy of: "Would Blacks of been satisfied with just being moved to the "middle of the bus"----- which I actually thought provocative and effectual ...

      • meltzen

        why was tax exempt status giving to heterosexual marriages in the first place?

        it was to help populate the country after the wars. you do know that gays can not populate in a traditional sense right?

      • Aaron

        I don't disagree with you in that the LGBT community spoke out against civil unions Silas but I was referring to the early 90's, not the 2000's.

        While some are saying this will lead to incestuous marriages, I don't think so. I think the next fight will be in forcing churches to perform same sex marriages. The LGBT community will attack the tax exempt status of churches and say if they are going to receive such status then they should be required to abide by the law.

    • mike

      no ...marriage is in the eyes, and blessed by god ......anything else is an abomination

      • Aaron

        Perhaps the institution of marriage is. But the contract of marriage in the United States of America is just that; nothing more than a contract and that is why 23 judges have now rule this way.

    • wv4evah

      Well-stated Aaron.

    • Tom

      Good analysis...Republicans must stop opposing everything outright and look for 'middle of the road' solutions. Taking an extreme position on an issue always come back to bite you.

  • wvu999

    Win for humans
    Loss for holier that thou

    • Neal

      Ask yourself this question. What would happen to the human race if everyone entered into a monogamous gay marriage?

      • Debra

        I wouldn't worry to much about that happening. Many Homosexuals want children and will use alternative methods of achieving that goal. And there will always be heterosexual couples having children. And besides, marriage is not necessary to procreate. Besides, the biggest killer of traditional marriage is divorce.

        • Neal

          I certainly hope you're right that it won't happen, but it's a rhetorical question to show that homosexuality is not what nature, and God, intended.

      • wvu999

        If that made them happy then we would have such a better place.

        Ask yourself this
        If marriage is so sacred then why is the divorce rate 50%. Let's let those who actually want to get married do it. Marriage has become a joke.

        • meltzen

          why do you think the divorce rate is so high now compared to from before? the family structure has been under attack for decades and now your like if marriage was so sacred why is the divorce rate is so high...The man the family structure has been under attack for decades... all you have to do is watch any TV show ....every man is metrosexual and usually the women in the shows have more balls and authority than the man does on there...why is that......

        • Silas Lynch

          "Ask yourself this
          If marriage is so sacred then why is the divorce rate 50%. Let's let those who actually want to get married do it. Marriage has become a joke."

          999: I agree marriage has become a bit of a joke. But do you really believe it by accident our society has been evolved into taking marriage so light- heartedly?

          Ask yourself this:
          If society still held marriage as in high esteem as it was 60; 50; 40 years ago, would there be any debate of same sex marriage, today?

          Do you NOT believe societal values can be manipulated into being changed?

        • Neal

          "We would have such a better place" for about 80 years and then the human race would come to an end because of zero procreation. That's not what I call a "better place".

          • Neal

            Obviously I don't think everyone will turn gay (or at least I hope not). It's a rhetorical question to illustrate that homosexuality is not what nature, and God, intended.

          • Chuck Anziulewicz

            DEAR NEAL:

            Were you under the impression that the marriage equality movement was some kind of sinister plot to make homosexuality compulsory for everyone? If so, I have a bridge I'd like to sell you.

    • Gary Karstens

      Agreed!

  • Dumb Liberals

    Abnormal is the new norm? Hell is getting closer!

    • jfk

      Abnormal is the new norm, so true.

      Hell is getting closer, its a possibility :(

  • Asher

    Good new #TheRightSideOfHistory

  • Chuck Anziulewicz

    Here's the money quote from the ruling:

    “We realize 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 choice of whether and whom to marry is an intensely personal decision that alters the course of an individual’s life. Denying same-sex couples this choice prohibits them from participating fully in our society, which is precisely the type of segregation that the Fourteenth Amendment cannot countenance.”

    That sums it up pretty well.

  • Max

    North Carolina and South Carolina are not part of the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals.

    • Max

      My bad...they are in the 4th Circuit