Virginia’s Same-Sex Marriage Ban Ruled Unconstitutional
The Fourth Circuit Court has struck down Virginia’s ban on same-sex marriage.
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In a 2-1 decision in Bostic v. Schaefer, a panel of the Fourth Circuit has invalidated Virginia’s ban on same-sex marriage. The majority opinion was written by Judge Henry Floyd (an Obama nominee, but previously a George W. Bush choice for the district court) and joined by Judge Roger Gregory (Clinton nominee). It’s the second post-Windsor appellate court, after the Tenth Circuit, to strike down an exclusion of gay couples from marriage. Judge Paul Niemeyer (George H.W. Bush) dissented, the second appellate court judge to do so since Windsor. The case was argued by Ted Olson, who recently co-authored a book with David Boies about their challenge to Proposition 8.
The Fourth Circuit majority held that the ban violated gay couples’ fundamental right to marry. Specifically, the majority placed heavy reliance on both Windsor and Lawrence v. Texas as establishing the equal validity of gay couples’ intimate and relational choices:
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