The Ottumwa Courier

AP National

February 14, 2014

Judge: Va. same-sex marriage ban unconstitutional

NORFOLK, Va. (AP) — Virginia has become the first state in the South to have its same-sex marriage ban overturned, with a late-night federal court ruling that declared the voter-approved amendment unconstitutional.

U.S. District Judge Arenda Wright Allen on Thursday issued a stay of her order while it is appealed, meaning that gay couples in Virginia still won't be able to marry until the case is ultimately resolved. Both sides believe the case won't be settled until the Supreme Court decides to hear it or one like it.

Allen's decision echoes recent rulings elsewhere in the U.S. and is the strongest foothold yet in the South for the gay-marriage movement. On Wednesday, a judge declared that Kentucky must recognize same-sex marriages performed in other states, but didn't rule on the constitutionality of whether such marriages can be performed in the state. Decisions similar to that of the Virginia judge have been issued in in Utah and Oklahoma federal courts.

The office of newly elected Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring took the unusual step of not defending the law because it believes the ban violates the equal protection clause of the 14th Amendment. In her ruling, Wright Allen agreed.

"The court is compelled to conclude that Virginia's Marriage Laws unconstitutionally deny Virginia's gay and lesbian citizens the fundamental freedom to choose to marry. Government interests in perpetuating traditions, shielding state matters from federal interference, and favoring one model of parenting over others must yield to this country's cherished protections that ensure the exercise of the private choices of the individual citizen regarding love and family," Wright Allen wrote.

The plaintiffs' lead co-counsel, Theodore B. Olson, said in a statement: "Through its decision today, the court has upheld the principles of equality upon which this nation was founded."

Text Only
AP National
  • Ginsburg: Court right to void clinic buffer zones WASHINGTON (AP) — Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg is defending a rare Supreme Court decision that put her at odds with women's rights groups. Ginsburg said the court's unanimous ruling in June that struck down the 35-foot, protest-free zone on sidewalks

    August 1, 2014

  • Poll: Foreign policy no longer Obama strong point WASHINGTON (AP) — Foreign policy used to be a bright spot in Americans' opinion of President Barack Obama. Not anymore. An Associated Press-GfK poll finds that dissatisfaction with Obama's handling of events in Ukraine, Gaza and elsewhere now matches

    August 1, 2014

  • US employers add 209K jobs, rate rises to 6.2 pct. WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. employers extended their hiring surge into July by adding a solid 209,000 jobs. It was the sixth straight month of job growth above 200,000, evidence that businesses are gradually shedding the caution that had marked the 5-year

    August 1, 2014

  • Semi crash coats Indianapolis highway in butter INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — A semitrailer has overturned on an Indianapolis interstate, spilling what police say are 45,000 pounds of packages of butter and other dairy products. The crash happened about 3:30 a.m. Friday in the eastbound lanes of Interstate

    August 1, 2014

  • Contract talks in Met Opera labor dispute extended NEW YORK (AP) — It's a drama worthy of the Metropolitan Opera: Frantic, last-minute labor negotiations aimed at averting a lockout that threatens to stop both pay and benefits for thousands of singers, musicians, stagehands and other workers. With ju

    August 1, 2014

  • WWI aviation still alive at aerodrome in New York RHINEBECK, N.Y. (AP) — There's still a place where buzzing biplanes swoop in pursuit of German triplanes, where pilots in open cockpits let their scarves flutter in the wind. The sights and sounds of World War I flight are recreated regularly at the

    August 1, 2014

  • State Dept: 'No American is proud' of CIA tactics WASHINGTON (AP) — The State Department has endorsed the broad conclusions of a harshly critical Senate report on the CIA's interrogation and detention practices after the 9/11 attacks, a report that accuses the agency of brutally treating terror susp

    July 31, 2014

  • GOP: Lerner emails show bias against conservatives WASHINGTON (AP) — Congressional investigators say this is why they want all of Lois Lerner's emails. Newly released emails show the former IRS official referring to some right-wing Republicans as "crazies" and more, a revelation that is fueling GOP c

    July 31, 2014

  • Suing Obama: GOP-led House gives the go-ahead WASHINGTON (AP) — A sharply divided House approved a Republican plan Wednesday to launch a campaign-season lawsuit against President Barack Obama, accusing him of exceeding the bounds of his constitutional authority. Obama and other Democrats derided

    July 31, 2014

  • As US job market strengthens, many don't feel it WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. unemployment rate has plunged since the start of last year to a five-year low of 6.1 percent. And the July jobs report being released Friday will likely show a sixth straight month of healthy 200,000-plus gains. Yet for Do

    July 31, 2014

Obituaries
Record
Facebook
AP National