Gay Marriage

Federal Judge Strikes Down Virginia's Gay Marriage Ban

Stays order pending appeal

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A federal judge struck down Virginia's ban on same-sex marriage as unconstitutional late on Thursday, saying it denied gay couples a fundamental freedom to marry.

The ruling by U.S. District Court Judge Arenda Wright Allen in Norfolk, Virginia, added momentum to growing acceptance of gay marriage in the United States.

Allen said Virginia's constitutional ban on same-sex marriage violated the right to due process and equal protection of the law under the U.S. Constitution. However, she stayed execution of her order striking down the ban pending an appeal to the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals.