A federal judge has delayed ruling in a
case challenging West Virginia's ban on gay marriage.
U.S. District Judge Robert C. Chambers
said due to the “overlap of issues” in a similar case from
Virginia, he would wait until the U.S. Supreme court decides, the AP
West Virginia and Virginia are under
the jurisdiction of the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals, which
recently struck down Virginia's ban as invalid. The ruling has been
appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court.
In June, Chambers said he was waiting
for the Fourth Circuit's decision before proceeding in the case.
New York-based Lambda Legal is
representing 3 gay couples and the child of one couple in the lawsuit
filed in October in U.S. District Court in Huntington. Lambda Legal
argues that West Virginia's ban violates the Due Process Clause and
Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.
Lawyers previously asked Chambers to
strike down the state's law, enacted in 2000, prohibiting their
clients from marrying, saying that it is unconstitutional under any
standard of review.
The state argues that it is merely
attempting to avoid confusion by delaying the ruling.