Va. Same-Sex Marriage Ruling Affects Four-State Region

By MERRIS BADCOCK | mbadcock@whag.com

Published 07/29 2014 05:37PM

Updated 07/29 2014 06:39PM

WINCHESTER, Va. - On Monday the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals struck down Virginia’s ban on same-sex marriage in the Bostic v. Rainey case. If no appeals are filed before August 18, the ruling will become law.

'I can’t describe to you what this feeling is like right now,” said Victoria Kidd, a Winchester resident, who along with her wife Christy Berghoff, were plaintiffs named in the case. “We've waited so long."

However, it is likely an appeal will be filed, as similar cases in Utah and Oklahoma have already been appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court.

"Whether or not [the defendants] file an appeal for review before the Supreme Court, or whether they file a petition for review, they have to file a motion to stay the ruling,” said Gerardo Delgado, an attorney with Amable Law. “You only have 21 days to file that motion, because otherwise that ruling will become a mandate, and then it can be implemented throughout the Commonwealth."

Until any action is taken, motion, appeal, or otherwise, the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals’ decision would affect marriage laws in West Virginia, North Carolina and South Carolina as these states, along with Virginia, fall under the court’s jurisdiction. Maryland, which also falls under the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals, has already legalized same-sex marriage.

Kidd and Berghoff said they got involved to help protect same-sex couples' right as parents.

"It just reaffirms what we already know,” said Kidd. “It represents what is truly a growing majority of public opinion, that marriage equality is important to families."

Berghoff and Kidd have a daughter together, Lydia, who will be 2-years-old in November.

“Our involvement in this case is about protecting her. She's worth fighting for no matter how long it takes,” said Kidd.

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