The religious right continues losing their reactionary culture war, as a federal appeals court strikes down Virginia’s ban on marriage equality.
And this ruling will also affect conservative bans on same-sex marriage in West Virginia, North Carolina and South Carolina, so it’s a significant defeat for the forces of atavism.
“We recognize that same-sex marriage makes some people deeply uncomfortable. However, inertia and apprehension are not legitimate bases for denying same-sex couples due process and equal protection of the laws,” the divided three-judge panel of the 4th U.S. Circuit in Richmond concluded.[…]
The 4th Circuit opinion also will affect marriage laws in other states within its jurisdiction, including West Virginia, North Carolina and South Carolina. Only Maryland has legalized same-sex marriage.
Here in North Carolina, there are three cases which challenge the same-sex marriage ban. In one of them, one of the plainitiffs is medically ill, and the ACLU has asked for expedited relief. I expect the judge in that case will, in light of the Fourth Circuit decision, strike down NC's ban as well.
That might not mean gay marriage is coming to North Carolina. More likely, it will be put "n hold" pending an inevitable Supreme Court decision.