VA’s Same-Sex Marriage Ban Ruled Unconstitutional

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Virginia's political world is making history. Virginia's same-sex marriage ban was overturned. A federal appeals court issued the ruling Monday afternoon.

Same-sex couples from Virginia and other states along the East Coast are now one step closer to legal marriages.

"It's about love," said plaintiff Mary Townley. "I love my wife Carol. I love my daughter Emily. We are a family."

Mary Townley has been with her partner, Carol, for nearly 30 years. Together they raised a daughter named Emily. The family triumphed as plaintiffs Tuesday in the Bostic vs. Rainey case.

"I'm so excited for the day that I no longer have to cross out father on a form. Emily has two moms. We don't have to compromise anymore. We are going to be a family that is recognized, accepted. Emily can talk about her two moms with pride,” said Townley.

On Monday in Richmond, a three-judge panel ruled in favor of families like Townley’s. The 2-to-1 decision came down on the side of same-sex couples in the name of the Fourteenth Amendment.

"And I am proud that the commonwealth of Virginia is leading one of the most important civil rights issues of our day,” said Attorney General Mark Herring.

Nineteen states and the District of Columbia now offer marriage rights to gay and lesbian couples.

Although this ruling is a historic one, same-sex couples cannot run down the aisle just yet. It takes 21 days for this to take effect, and defendants will likely file a motion to stay, meaning this very case could head to the U.S. Supreme Court.

"Sometimes you have to be a little patient, but I would say especially for those 14,000 couples in our state that asking them to be patient is asking them to put their life and their marriages on hold. So they would like to see those rulings take effect today,” said James Parrish, executive director of Equality Virginia.

The decision applies to 14,000 couples in Virginia alone. It also covers West Virginia, South Carolina and North Carolina.

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