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Delay Denied in Ruling on VA Gay Marriage Ban

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - A federal appeals court has denied a request to delay its ruling striking down Virginia's same-sex marriage ban.

A panel of the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond on Wednesday denied the request by a county court clerk in northern Virginia to stay the decision while it is appealed to the Supreme Court.

That means that without intervention from the U.S. Supreme Court, same-sex couples could begin marrying and have their out-of-state marriages recognized by next Wednesday.

Late last month, the court ruled that Virginia's gay marriage ban approved by voters in 2006 is unconstitutional.

Representatives for the defendants didn't immediately comment.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Statement from Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring:

"Throughout this process, we have fought for the principle of equality, moving the case forward in a swift and orderly way. That is why I have asked the Supreme Court to review the case to quickly and definitively resolve the issue for the Commonwealth and all the states. Because the 4th Circuit's order does not take effect until at least August 20, clerks cannot yet issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples. It's also possible that the Supreme Court could issue its own stay, as it has done in similar cases, especially since the Prince William County Clerk is requesting a stay.

No one anticipated we would be this close this quickly to the day when all Virginians have the right to marry the person they love. That will be a historic day for our Commonwealth and a joyous day for thousands of loving couples."

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