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Marriage Equality Comes to the Fourth Circuit


Carl Tobias


March 17, 2019

Marriage equality has come to America. Throughout 2014, several federal appellate courts and numerous district court judges across the United States invalidated state constitutional or statutory proscriptions on same-sex marriage. Therefore, it was not surprising that Eastern District of Virginia Judge Arenda Wright Allen held that Virginia’s bans were unconstitutional in February. The United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit affirmed her opinion that July. North Carolina, South Carolina, and West Virginia District Judges rejected these jurisdictions’ prohibitions during autumn, and the Supreme Court approved marriage equality the next year. Because marriage equality in the Fourth Circuit presents significant legal questions which profoundly affect numbers of individuals, the road to equality in the Circuit’s states deserves analysis, which this piece conducts.