A federal appeals court is expected to hand down a ruling in a case challenging Virginia's ban on gay marriage sometime this month.

The Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond heard an appeal in Bostic v. Rainey on May 13, roughly three months after a federal judge in Norfolk ruled that Virginia's 2006 voter-approved constitutional amendment defining marriage as a heterosexual union violates the Equal Protection clause of the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.

Legal experts speaking with the Richmond Times-Dispatch said a ruling in the case is imminent.

Carl Tobias, a constitutional law professor at the University of Richmond School of Law, told the paper that he believes the delay suggests a split decision.

“The judges are probably writing multiple opinions based on the questioning at argument, which suggests that they might not agree on the appropriate resolution,” Tobias said.

A ruling in the case would also apply to marriage bans in North Carolina, South Carolina and West Virginia.