Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Judge rules Va. ban on same-sex marriage is unconstitutional

NORFOLK, Va. — A federal judge ruled Thursday that Virginia's ban on same-sex marriage is unconstitutional, making it the first state in the South to have its voter-approved prohibition overturned.

U.S. District Judge Arenda Wright Allen issued a stay of her order while it is appealed, meaning gay couples in Virginia will still not be able to marry until the case is ultimately resolved. Both sides think the case won't be settled until the Supreme Court decides to hear it or one like it.

Allen's ruling makes Virginia the second state in the South to issue a ruling recognizing the legality of gay marriages.

A judge in Kentucky ruled Wednesday that the state must recognize same-sex marriages performed in other states. The Virginia judge's ruling also follows similar decisions in Utah and Oklahoma federal courts.

The Virginia Attorney General's Office took the unusual step of not defending the law because it thinks the ban violates the equal protection clause of the 14th Amendment.

In a movement that began with Massachusetts in 2004, 17 states and the District of Columbia now allow gay marriage, most of them clustered in the Northeast.

More than a dozen states have federal lawsuits challenging state bans on same-sex marriage.

Judge rules Va. ban on same-sex marriage is unconstitutional 02/13/14 [Last modified: Thursday, February 13, 2014 11:13pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Woman convicted in murder of 18-year-old with cerebral palsy gets lighter term

    Criminal

    TAMPA — Linda Bonck, a 90-pound Chamberlain High School senior with cerebral palsy, lived near Tampa's Lowry Park. She struggled to walk and talk but was known for being friendly and trusting of strangers until she vanished one day in 1992.

    Georgia Miller, 39, was convicted for the 1992 murder of Linda Bonck, an 18-year-old Chamberlain High School student who had cerebral palsy. Originally sentenced to life in prison, Miller was resentenced Wednesday to 65 years, the result of U.S. and Florida Supreme Court decisions that found it unconstitutional to sentence juveniles to life. With gain time, Miller will be released from prison in the next six years. [Florida Department of Corrections]
  2. Boynton Beach woman arrested on DUI, child abuse charges

    Criminal

    A Boynton Beach woman was arrested Saturday and faces DUI and child abuse charges after she blew a .200 on a breath test with an unbuckled child in the backseat, according to the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office.

    Brandy Lerma, 31 of Boynton Beach, was arrested on DUI and child abuse charges on Saturday. [Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office]
  3. Editorial: Why can't Hillsborough commissioners move Confederate monument?

    Editorials

    The violence in Charlottesville, Va., crystallized for much of the nation the danger of refusing to address painful symbols of the past. But not so in Hillsborough County, where the County Commission on Wednesday reversed itself yet again and left open the possibility of leaving a Confederate monument outside the …

  4. Former WTSP employee sues station's parent companies for gender discrimination

    Civil

    A former director at WTSP-Ch. 10 has sued the station's parent companies, claiming she was the victim of gender discrimination.

  5. Editorial: UF should reconsider denying white nationalist's request to speak

    Editorials

    University of Florida president Kent Fuchs understandably cited security concerns Wednesday in denying white nationalist Richard Spencer's application to speak next month on campus. But those security concerns could be addressed, and they should not stamp out free speech at a public university that aspires to be great. …

    The University of Florida, citing security concerns, has denied white nationalist Richard Spencer’s application to speak on campus in September.