UPDATED: Supreme Courts Puts Hold on Va. Same-Sex Marriage

Aug. 20, 2014 UPDATED 6:57 PM

Same-sex couples in Virginia are facing another road block as the Supreme Court jumped in to delay the mandate lifting the ban on same-sex marriage. Now they have to figure out what's next.

"The court is trying to figure out how to minimize the harm to all of the people involved between now and when the court finally decides without knowing how it decides," says Douglas Laycock, professor of Constitutional Law at UVa.

Laycock says that if the couples were allowed to marry and the supreme court intervened afterwards then there would've been bigger issues at hand.

"There may be even greater hardship if we let hundreds of couples get married and then the supreme court says no," says Laycock. "That's chaos."

He says there is still frustration for many same-sex couples who have been struggling with the legal issues of marriage.

"We've got a couple here at the university, same-sex partners going blind because can't afford the drugs for her diabetes and they can't get health insurance because they're not married."

For the Charlottesville Circuit Court, they were prepared for it to go either way, with paperwork that takes in account same sex couples.

For the Clerk of Courts, she was still in awe by the decision of the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals.

"I was surprised last Wednesday when the 4th district denied the stay because it's been in other states the stays have been granted because everyone is waiting for it to get up to the Supreme Court," says Llezelle Dugger, clerk of courts.

The Supreme Court could decline to hear the case all together and then marriages for same-sex couples would be back on, but Laycock anticipates that they will wait to make that decision when they begin their term on October 6th.
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WASHINGTON (AP) - The Supreme Court is delaying the start of same-sex marriage in Virginia.

The court on Wednesday granted a request from a county clerk in northern Virginia to block same-sex marriages across the state while the issue is being appealed to the Supreme Court. The court provided no explanation for its order.

Without court intervention, same-sex couples would have been allowed to wed as of Thursday.

In January, the justices issued an order putting same-sex unions on hold in Utah while the federal appeals court in Denver was hearing the case. That court upheld the decision striking down Utah's gay marriage ban, but delayed its decision from taking effect pending appeal to the Supreme Court.

Most other federal court decisions in favor of same-sex marriage also have been put on hold.


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