Delegate McClellan Statement on 4th Circuit Court Decision Striking Down Same-Sex Marriage Ban

On July 29, 2014, a panel of the U.S. 4th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a ruling from a lower court that struck down Virginia's same-sex marriage ban.  This opinion also invalidates the bans in North Carolina, South Carolina, and West Virginia. Finding that the 2006 "Marshall-Newman" amendment to Virginia's constitution violated the Equal Protection and Due Process Clause of the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, Judge Henry F. Floyd stated:

"We recognize that same-sex marriage makes some people deeply uncomfortable. However, inertia and apprehension are not legitimate bases for denying same-sex couples due process and equal protection of the laws. Civil marriage is one of the cornerstones of our way of life. It allows individuals to celebrate and publicly declare their intentions to form lifelong partnerships, which provide unparalleled intimacy, companionship, emotional support, and security. The choice of whether and whom to marry is an intensely personal decision that alters the course of an individual's life. Denying same-sex couples this choice prohibits them from participating fully in our society, which is precisely the type of segregation that the Fourteenth Amendment cannot countenance."

As someone whose own marriage was illegal in Virginia until the U.S. Supreme Court opinion in Loving v. Virginia, and voted against the Marshall-Newman amendment, I applaud the Court's ruling.

Read the full opinion here: http://ftpcontent4.worldnow.com/wwbt/PDF/20140728%20BosticOpinion.pdf