Yet another state ban on marriage equality has been struck down. Via the Washington Post:
A federal judge in Norfolk struck down as unconstitutional Virginia’s ban on same-sex marriage Thursday night, saying the country has “arrived upon another moment in history when We the People becomes more inclusive, and our freedom more perfect.”
U.S. District Judge Arenda L. Wright Allen issued a sweeping 41-page opinion that mentioned at length Virginia’s past in denying interracial marriage and quoted Abraham Lincoln. She struck the constitutional amendment Virginia voters approved in 2006 that both bans same-sex marriage and forbids recognition of such unions performed elsewhere.
She stayed her decision pending appeal to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit in Richmond, meaning same-sex marriages will be not be immediately available in the commonwealth.
Virginia Attorney General Mark R. Herring (D), who had switched the state’s legal position on the issue and joined two gay couples in asking that the ban be struck down, has said the state will continue to enforce the prohibitions until the legal process is completed.
Wright Allen showed no hesitation in overturning the state constitutional amendment, saying none of the reasons proponents offer for denying same-sex marriages make legitimate governmental interests.
“Gay and lesbian individuals share the same capacity as heterosexual individuals to form, preserve and celebrate loving, intimate and lasting relationships,” Wright Allen wrote. “Such relationships are created through the exercise of sacred, personal choices — choices, like the choices made by every other citizen, that must be free from unwarranted government interference.”
Read the ruling here.
I’m beginning to lose track of how many state bans have been overturned based on the Supreme Court’s ruling against DOMA. So far we have Utah, Oklahoma, Kentucky (although the ban itself was not overturned, but it must recognize legal same-sex marriages), and not to mention the states where their bans are being challenged in court, including Texas and Florida. In every state, from every judge regardless of who appointed them, the ruling has been the same: banning same-sex marriage violates the equal protection clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. Thank you, Justice Scalia.
Frankly, I thought it would take a lot longer, but it’s been less than eight months since the Court ruled and already the lower courts are lining up and taking their turn to knock down the state laws.
Let’s serve up a heaping helping of schadenfreude for the sniveling bigots at the various anti-gay groups who are trying to play homophobia Whack-A-Mole with all of these activist judges overturning God’s Law.
And to answer the question posed by Damon Linker: Yes, opposing gay marriage is the same as being a racist.