On Monday, July 28 The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit ruled in a 2-1 decision that Virginia’s ban on same-sex marriage is unconstitutional. Judge Henry Floyd argued that personal opposition to same-sex marriage is not a legitimate reason for legally banning gay marriage.
“We recognize that same-sex marriage makes some people deeply uncomfortable,” Judge Henry Floyd wrote. “However, inertia and apprehension are not legitimate bases for denying same-sex couples due process and equal protection of the laws.”
The ruling was in response to an appeal made by two circuit court clerks after a February decision in favor of gay marriage by U.S. District Judge Arenda L. Wright Allen. Judge Allen argued that Virginia’s same-sex marriage ban violates the equal protection and due process clauses of the Constitution. However her ruling will not take effect for 21 days to allow for a rehearing.
20 states plus the District of Columbia have already legalized same-sex marriage. Virginia’s ruling is the most recent major accomplishment for the LGBTQIA rights movement, and there’s many more to come.