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Plaintiffs celebrate overturned Va. same-sex marriage ban

Friday, February 14, 2014
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Virginia

Bill Tiernan, The Virginian-Pilot (AP)
From left back row, Carol Schall , Emily Schall-Townley,16, daughter of Schall and Townley and Mary Townley , Tim Bostic and Tony London celebrate the Thursday’s ruling by federal Judge Arenda Wright Allen that Virginia’s same-sex marriage ban was unconstitutional on Friday, Feb. 14, 2014 in Norfolk, Va. Wright Allen on Thursday issued a stay of her order while it is appealed, meaning that gay couples in Virginia still won’t be able to marry until the case is ultimately resolved. An appeal will be filed to the 4th District Court of Appeals, which could uphold the ban or side with Wright Allen. At the bottom of photo is Adam Umhoefer, Executive Director of the American Foundation for Equal Rights.

NORFOLK, Va. — The two couples at the center of a fight over the legality of same-sex marriage in Virginia are celebrating a federal judge’s ruling overturning the state’s ban.

On Friday, Tim Bostic and Tony London of Norfolk and Carol Schall and Mary Townley of Chesterfield County praised U.S. District Judge Arenda Wright Allen’s late-night ruling declaring the state’s ban on same-sex marriage unconstitutional. The judge wrote that the ban violates the 14th Amendment.

Wright Allen stayed her decision, which means no marriages can take place until the issue is ultimately decided by an appeals court.

The couples held a Valentine’s Day news conference outside a Norfolk home the morning after the ruling. They say that although the decision has been stayed, it brings them one step closer to being married.

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