Paul Katami and Jeff Zarrrillo, plaintiffs in the last marriage case to hit the Supreme Court, on their decision day. It's likely marriage equality is headed back to the Supreme Court, hopefully to be settled in the law for once and for all.
The Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals has struck down Virginia's ban
on same-sex marriage, holding, in a two-one vote, that it is unconstitutional:
The decision, by Judge Henry Floyd acknowledged both the debate over such laws and, in the court’s view, the clear constitutional impediment to laws banning same-sex couples from marrying.
“We recognize that same-sex marriage makes some people deeply uncomfortable,” he wrote. “However, inertia and apprehension are not legitimate bases for denying same-sex couples due process and equal protection of the laws.”
U.S. District Judge Arenda Wright Allen had previously
ruled against Virginia's marriage ban, and the state's Democratic attorney general, Mark Herring, narrowly elected in 2013, refused to defend
the ban in court.
The Fourth Circuit is the second appeals court to rule for marriage equality, following a late June decision from the Tenth Circuit, a decision cited by the Fourth Circuit (full decision here).
1:45 PM PT: North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper reads the tea leaves:
Cooper: "After reviewing the 4th Cir decision .. I have concluded the state of North Carolina will not oppose" cases challenging ssm bans.