A federal lawsuit challenging West
Virginia's ban on gay marriage was put on hold Tuesday until an
appeals court rules on a similar case in Virginia.
“Because of the overlap in the issues
present in that case and the one before this Court, the Court sua
sponte ORDERS that the instant case be STAYED pending a decision
from the Fourth Circuit in Bostic v. Schaefer,” U.S.
District Judge Robert C. Chambers ordered.
A three judge panel of the U.S. Fourth
Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond heard arguments in Bostic v.
Schaefer on May 13.
The Fourth Circuit holds appellate
jurisdiction over district courts in Virginia and West Virginia.
New York-based Lambda Legal filed the
case in October in U.S. District Court in Huntington on behalf of
three gay couples and the child of one couple. The law firm argues
that West Virginia's statutory ban violates the Due Process and Equal
Protection clauses of the Fourteenth Amendment.