May 13, 2014
A federal appeals court in Virginia is taking up the issue of gay marriage.
A three-judge panel of the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals heard arguments Tuesday on a judge's ruling that the Commonwealth's ban on same-sex marriage is unconstitutional.
One of the appeals court judges challenged attorneys for gay-rights couples who argued that the ban violates equal protection and due process guarantees. Another judge questioned claims that families are stronger with both a mother and a father.
"Nothing that was said in the courtroom today alters the basic incompatibility of this discriminatory ban with the protections guaranteed by our constitution," said Va. Attorney General Mark Herring. "And every single federal court which has considered the question since last year's winter decision has reached the same conclusion."
A decision is expected in several weeks or months.
The case is one of a handful that could ultimately make it to the U.S. Supreme Court.