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Federal judge says suit challenging W.Va. gay marriage ban can proceed

Friday, January 31, 2014
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CHARLESTON, W.Va. — A federal judge says most of a lawsuit challenging West Virginia’s ban on same-sex marriage can proceed.

West-VirginiaBut U.S. District Judge Robert C. Chambers says one claim can’t proceed without additional plaintiffs. That claim says West Virginia should recognize gay marriages performed in other states.

This week’s ruling came in a lawsuit filed by Lambda Legal on behalf of three same-sex couples and one couple’s child.

The lawsuit says the Kanawha and Cabell county clerks denied the six adults marriage licenses under the state law, effectively denying them benefits. Those include shared health insurance, reduction of tax liabilities and caretaking decision power.

Lambda Legal senior attorney Karen Loewy tells the Charleston Gazette that the gay rights group is considering whether to add plaintiffs to the case.

West Virginia law bans same-sex marriages and does not recognize same-sex marriages performed in other states.

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