via USA Today
Earlier today a federal appeals court panel in Virginia became the second one this summer to strike down a state ban against same-sex marriage, making it more likely that the Supreme Court will settle the issue as early as next year.
The three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit in Richmond ruled 2-1 that gay men and lesbians have a constitutional right to marry that is paramount to state marriage laws:
"We recognize that same-sex marriage makes some people deeply uncomfortable. However, inertia and apprehension are not legitimate bases for denying same-sex couples due process and equal protection of the laws."—Judge Henry Floyd
The circuit court has jurisdiction over Virginia, Maryland, West Virginia, North Carolina and South Carolina [emphasis mine]. The panel's decision will not take effect for at least 21 days while circuit clerks defending the state's ban decide whether to appeal to the full appellate court or the Supreme Court.
It’s getting closer, y’all!
The latest news is that the Attorney General of North Carolina has now said he will no longer defend that state's marriage ban in light of the Virginia ruling!
UPDATE # 2
South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson says South Carolina’s gay marriage ban remains intact and he sees no need to change course because the U.S. Supreme Court will likely make the final decision about gay marriage.
South Carolina ... and Alan Wilson ... you disappoint me.