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VA Gay Marriage Case Heads to Appeals Court - NBC29 WVIR Charlottesville, VA News, Sports and Weather

VA Gay Marriage Case Heads to Appeals Court

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According to a federal court judge in Norfolk, Virginia's ban on same-sex marriage is unconstitutional. It's a huge reversal for the commonwealth, which has laws banning same-sex marriage dating back to the 1970s.

But don't expect things to change just yet.

Federal court decisions can often take many months to come down, but Judge Arenda Wright Allen used only 10 days to render her opinion. It’s a quick turnaround with a catch: no same-sex marriages will take place in the commonwealth until the court of appeals has its say.

Though the ruling calls for the state's ban to stay in place through the appeals process, Attorney General Mark Herring says his office will work to help move things along.

“It's important that the case move as expeditiously as possible,” Herring said. “People's fundamental rights are being infringed upon.”

Republicans in the Virginia legislature say the court's ruling disenfranchises Virginia's voters, who voted to ban same-sex marriage in 2006.

Delegate Bob Marshall wants Judge Allen, a Barack Obama appointee, impeached.

“This judge has far overstepped her bounds. She needs to be taken off the federal bench by impeachment,” he said.

There is no timetable for when this case will go to the court of appeals, but it will likely face appeal all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Another class-action same-sex marriage case is currently pending in the U.S. District Court in Harrisonburg.

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