All Eyes On Virginia

Via the Associated Press:

North Carolina, South Carolina and West Virginia also prohibit gay marriage and are part of the 4th Circuit. A ruling affirming Allen’s decision could either strike down bans or virtually ensure the success of similar lawsuits in the other states, leaders of gay-rights organizations said. “We hope the ruling is sweeping, but even if it’s not we hope it will provide precedent for our own legal challenge,” said Ryan Wilson, executive director of South Carolina Equality. Chris Sgro, executive director of Equality North Carolina, said activists are excited about the possibility of the Virginia ruling striking down his state’s same-sex marriage ban.

Matt McGill, one of the lawyers for the plaintiffs in the Virginia case, said in a telephone interview that the activists are correct about the possible ripple effect of the appeals court’s ruling. “It depends on how the 4th Circuit decides the case,” he said. “To the extent the court of appeals is interpreting the Constitution of the United States, that interpretation would be binding on the other states within the 4th Circuit. It could have the effect of striking down marriage bans in West Virginia, South Carolina and North Carolina.”

We should get reports on how things went at the Fourth Circuit Court shortly.