A federal judge ruled that same-sex marriage bans enshrined in the Virginia Constitution and Code are unconstitutional, directly violating both the Due Process Clause and the the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.
U.S. District Court Judge Arenda Wright Allen wrote in her opinion Thursday:
Justice has often been forged from fires of indignities and prejudices suffered. Our triumphs that celebrate the freedom of choice are hallowed. We have arrived upon another moment in history when We the People becomes more inclusive, and our freedom more perfect.
The commitment to love and support another person enriches society, Allen claimed:
Although steeped in a rich, tradition-and faith-based legacy, Virginia's Marriage Laws are an exercise of governmental power.
Two sets of single-gender couples living in Virginia filed the complaint. The plaintiffs sought “relief from the imposition” of Article I. Section 15-A of the Virginia Constitution, which defines marriage as being:
That only a union between one man and one woman may be a marriage valid in or recognized by this Commonwealth and its political subdivisions. This Commonwealth and its political subdivisions shall not create or recognize a legal status for relationships of unmarried individuals that intends to approximate the design, qualities, significance, or effects of marriage. Nor shall this Commonwealth or its political subdivisions create or recognize another union, partnership, or other legal status to which is assigned the rights, benefits, obligations, qualities, or effects of marriage.
Plaintiffs also sought freedom from Sections 20-45.2, 20-45.3 of the Virginia Code which voids civil unions or contracts created between same sex couples in another state.
National Organization for Marriage President Brian Brown said he hopes the Supreme Court will reverse the decision:
This is another example of an Obama-appointed judge twisting the Constitution and the rule of law to impose her own views of marriage in defiance of the people of Virginia.
USA Today crafted a map revealing that same-sex marriage remains banned in most states: