The Gaily News: Gay marriage ban overturned in Virginia




A federal judge in Virginia overturned the state’s ban on gay marriage Thursday evening.

The order was subsequently stayed to allow for appeals, which means same-sex marriages can’t begin immediately in The Old Dominion.

In her ruling, U.S. District Court Judge Arenda Wright Allen wrote:

Our Constitution declares that 'all men' are created equal. Surely this means all of us. While ever vigilant for the wisdom that can come from the voices of our voting public, our courts have never long tolerated the perpetuation of laws rooted in unlawful prejudice. One of the judiciary's noblest endeavors is to scrutinize law that emerge from such roots.

Wright Allen began her opinion with an excerpt from “Loving for All” by Mildred Loving, a black woman banished from Virginia for marrying a white man in the 1950s, and ended with a nod to Abraham Lincoln.

More LGBT news:

• Facebook has added customizable gender options people can use to identify themselves on the social media site. Users can choose from 58 different terms, including male and female, to identify their gender:

- Agender
- Androgyne
- Androgynous
- Bigender
- Cis
- Cisgender
- Cis Female
- Cis Male
- Cis Man
- Cis Woman
- Cisgender Female
- Cisgender Male
- Cisgender Man
- Cisgender Woman
- Female to Male
- Gender Fluid
- Gender Nonconforming
- Gender Questioning
- Gender Variant
- Genderqueer
- Intersex
- Male to Female
- Neither
- Neutrois
- Non-binary
- Other
- Pangender
- Trans
- Trans*
- Trans Female
- Trans* Female
- Trans Male
- Trans* Male
- Trans Man
- Trans* Man
- Trans Person
- Trans* Person
- Trans Woman
- Trans* Woman
- Transfeminine
- Transgender
- Transgender Female
- Transgender Male
- Transgender Man
- Transgender Person
- Transgender Woman
- Transmasculine
- Transsexual
- Transsexual Female
- Transsexual Male
- Transsexual Man
- Transsexual Person
- Transsexual Woman
- Two-Spirit

Sarah Kate Ellis, president of GLAAD, said, “This new feature is a step forward in recognizing transgender people and allows them to tell their authentic story in their own words. Once again, Facebook is on the forefront of ensuring that the platform is safe and accessible to all of its LGBT users.”

• A coalition of socially conservative organizations opposed to same-sex marriage are challenging the recent lawsuit filed to overturn Florida’s ban on gay marriage.

Groups involved in supporting the Florida Marriage Protection Amendment include the Christian Family Coalition and Florida Democratic League. They claim gay marriage proponents actually oppose civil rights because they’re trying to overturn the voter-mandated amendment, which came into law in 2008 when it was approved by 62 percent of voters.

Last month, six couples in Miami-Dade County filed the suit on the grounds that the state’s prohibition on same-sex nuptials is unconstitutional.

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